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Quadruple amputee's rise from death bed to Mount Kilimanjaro

Scots mum Corinne Hutton underwent a double hand transplant this week.

A quadruple amputee who fought back from the brink of death has successfully undergone a double hand transplant.

Surgeons at Leeds General Infirmary carried out the complicated 12-hour procedure on Scots mum Corinne Hutton, 47, earlier this week.

Since losing her hands and feet in 2013, Ms Hutton has gone on to accomplish many amazing feats and now devotes her time to the charity she founded to support amputees throughout the UK.

Here, we highlight some of Ms Hutton's incredible achievements.

Fight for life

Hospital: Ms Hutton fought hard to survive.
Hospital: Ms Hutton fought hard to survive. Finding Your Feet

Ms Hutton lost her limbs in 2013 after suffering acute pneumonia and sepsis, which nearly killed her.

The single mother, from Renfrewshire, was given a 5% chance of survival but battled back from death.

Doctors had kept her in an induced coma for three weeks and when she came round, her hands and feet had been starved of blood. Surgeons could save her life only by performing a quadruple amputation.

Charity work

Charity: Ms Hutton founded Finding Your Feet.
Charity: Ms Hutton founded Finding Your Feet. Finding Your Feet

Ms Hutton, who has a son and ran her own graphics company in Glasgow, set up Finding Your Feet after overcoming her trauma.

The charity helps to support families affected by amputation or limb difference through a range of sporting initiatives and social inclusion projects.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1434449-amputee-gets-double-hand-transplant-after-five-year-wait/ | default

It runs over 50 clubs every month across the country. Participants can enjoy swimming, skiing, climbing, gardening, crafting, pilates and fitness classes.

There is also an 'ampu-teas' session where you can meet up for a coffee and a chat.

The charity has many notable supporters.

Supporters: Justin Currie and Levi Roots.
Supporters: Justin Currie and Levi Roots. Finding Your Feet

Andy Murray, Gerard Butler, Justin Currie and Levi Roots have left their hand prints on the organisation's office wall, whilst Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson sent a personal video message of support during a private screening of his blockbuster Skyscraper, in which he portrays an amputee action hero.

During the showing at Glasgow Film Theatre, The Rock appeared on screen and told the audience: "Hey guys, surprise.

"Very happy to be here to introduce our film Skyscraper.

"Thank you to Finding Your Feet organisation for hosting tonight - you guys are doing great work for amputees and their families.

"We appreciate all that you do - thank you for being an inspiration."

https://youtu.be/r0TemiBl8DE | default

Ms Hutton said of the surprise: "We organised the screening of Skyscraper because we believe Dwayne Johnson portraying an amputee action hero will inspire countless people with limb loss and fill them with confidence.

"Universal Pictures were fantastic with their help with the private screening, and the personal message from Dwayne Johnson was just incredible.

"To have a message from such a big star and such a great person is massive for the charity.

"We hope it encourages amputees to get in touch and see what we can do for them.

"Limb loss isn't the end - it's a new chapter and we want to show that to as many people as possible."

The charity has so far raised more than £700,000 through fundraising and donations.

Scaling new heights

Daredevil: Ms Hutton at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Daredevil: Ms Hutton at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Ms Hutton has since become the first female quadruple amputee to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and climb Ben Nevis.

After returning to Glasgow after conquering Mount Kilimanjaro last year, Ms Hutton said the climb was as gruelling as she expected, with some unexpected challenges along the way.

She said: "I hadn't bargained on how hard camping was for me. Just to be able to get your legs on when you're sitting on the ground is a really difficult thing to do.

"You've nothing to push against to get them on except scree, and it just moves.

"It was so hard, getting in and out with the zips on the tent, zips on the toilet. All these things are really difficult."

Teamwork: The daredevils from Finding Your Feet.
Teamwork: The daredevils from Finding Your Feet. Finding Your Feet

Ms Hutton completed the climb with a team from Finding Your Feet.

She added: "A lot of the reason for doing this was for me, and my bucket list.

"But the spin-off from that is to raise money for amputees, and to maybe get amputees to push themselves a wee bit harder.

"It doesn't matter what their mountain is. It doesn't have to be Kilimanjaro."

Ms Hutton has also abseiled, cycled around the Isle of Arran, taken up skiing and enjoyed ballroom dancing lessons.

Raising awareness

Awareness: Ms Hutton posed for Organ Donation Week.
Awareness: Ms Hutton posed for Organ Donation Week.

In 2016 she also posed nude, with her body painted with organs and tissue that are deemed transplantable in a bid to help raise awareness of transplant issues.

The striking pictures were released to coincide with Organ Donation Week.

They were projected onto a series of landmarks across London, including the National Portrait Gallery, Waterloo Station and the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

She said: "When you look at the organ donation system, you realise the depth of it and the complications of it and also the lack of donors.

"That was the whole point of doing it, to increase awareness of how few people are signed up to the organ donation register and how many people are dying every single day.

"I won't die because I don't have hands, but people are dying because they don't have organs."

The first woman to receive a double hand transplant in the UK was Tanya Jackson, who was motivated to go for the procedure after seeing Ms Hutton on television.

Campaigner

Campaign: Ms Hutton would like to see Lochwinnoch train station updated.
Campaign: Ms Hutton would like to see Lochwinnoch train station updated. Finding Your Feet

Ms Hutton is an advocate for people with disabilities to live an independent life.

In August last year, she joined a campaign to see Lochwinnoch train station's platform two overhauled.

She said disabled access at the Renfrewshire village's station would "open so many doors" for people with disabilities.

The station's platform two has stairs and no disabled access, meaning passengers with mobility issues travelling from Glasgow Central cannot get off in the village.

She said: "Studies show that isolation does cause limited lifespan.

"There are amputees who are isolated and don't get out the house, and are literally losing the will to live.

"There's so many places they can go if train stations have the accessibility."

Double hand transplant

Surgery: Ms Hutton at Leeds General Infirmary.
Surgery: Ms Hutton at Leeds General Infirmary. Finding Your Feet

Ms Hutton successfully underwent a double hand transplant at Leeds General Infirmary after a five-year wait.

After more than a dozen false alarms over the years, she was informed this week that a match for her own blood group, skin tone and hand size had been found.

She was taken by ambulance from her home in Scotland to the hospital in West Yorkshire, where the surgery began at around 1pm on Monday.

The team working on the procedure included Professor Simon Kay, who was given an OBE in the New Year Honours list, and Professor Andrew Hart from Scotland, who performed the surgery to remove her hands and lower legs in 2013 and has since become her close friend.

'I've got hands; they look exactly like mine. They look amazing'
Corinne Hutton

Thanking the medics from her hospital bed, Corinne said: "I've got hands; they look exactly like mine. They look amazing.

"I've got fingers, and they can move - I shouldn't be doing that, right enough, but it's absolutely incredible. I'm so thrilled."

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