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Jenny Donelson

Kevin Manuel Amplify Stories

Amplify LogoI will never give up…

My journey started when I was 18 months old. My dad was in the Navy, fighting the Vietnam War. Mom was home caring for 8 kids, me being the baby at that time. We ended up with a family of 10! Mom was talked into getting out of the house and going to a Navy wives meeting. At some point, the babysitter picked me up and put me in a pot of boiling water. She went through the back door and just left me in the boiling water. No one knows why she would do such a thing, and she was never caught. My sister found me five to seven minutes later.

My mom was sitting in the hall with the military doctors trying to sign the papers to have both my feet amputated and she was shaking too much and couldn’t write. Dad came down the hall with a Vietnamese doctor (the nation we were at war with) to try a burn treatment he used on soldiers before amputation. He operated seven times before it took and my feet were safe. For the next 51 years I was in and out of hospitals, with surgery after surgery, and I had health issues beyond my feet. The burns caused other issues with my kidneys, heart, back, teeth, and skin.

I never got to be a kid. All my life I was dealing with one issue or another. I had to sit and watch and I didn’t have many friends because of it. Eventually I get married and had 3 kids, but in the end my feet took that away as well.

So, on August 30, 2013, it was decided to amputate the left foot. I can’t say it has been worse, it has been the same just in a different way. For four years now I have been dealing with MRSA, have had more surgeries then I can count, wound vacs, procedures, chronic uti’s, root canals and even lost a tooth. I get out and start something and then get slammed back with an infection or something, get put into the hospital, have surgery, then recovery for months…..over and over and over for four years now.

Pretty much everyone I knew left me, they didn’t know how to deal with it – but not my kids. And my granddaughter is amazing.

I still have a lot of respect for the medical field even through I’ve experienced some of the worst treatments a person could be put through. But, I keep that smile on my face, hold my head up and walk tall. I do all I can when I can just so I can have some kind of life. I will take what I can get and feel blessed for it. The smallest things are everything to me. I try to capture every moment. The last conversation I had with my dad was over the phone when he was dying. I had an infection and could not travel to go see him. I went to his funeral with that infection. He was my rock.