After losing her leg during a couple harrowing months in the hospital battling a severe clotting disorder, the owner of Lakes Shipping Miranda Sherman, is just starting to get back to work.
Miranda says her experience was scary, not just for her but for her whole family. She is grateful, though, for the support she received from everyone, including from the community.
"We had a lot of help," said Miranda, adding, "and we got a lot of donations. The school held a fundraiser for us. Medical bills were starting to stack up .... We really really, really want to thank all of the donors."
Not only that, Miranda says local businesses have been great, particularly Norseman Motors, where her sister-in-law, Corianna Sherman, works and K & T Irrigation in Fargo, where her husband, Chris, works. Miranda says both businesses have been very accommodating for Corianna and Chris as they help her out during her recovery.
Miranda has been home from the hospital since Christmas Day, but she still has a long road of recovery ahead of her. She says she is back at work in Lakes Shipping on Saturdays but, for now, she's focusing on getting better and preparing for a prosthetic limb. That means weekly therapy sessions and more trips down to the Mayo Clinic, the hospital where she ended up after a number of surgeries in Fargo led to little improvement.
Miranda says her health problems started when she noticed a pain in her leg in early November. After a visit to Essentia Health in Detroit Lakes, the doctors discovered she had a couple of blood clots behind her knee, so they transported her to Fargo for treatment. There, she was placed on blood thinners and went through three angiograms to remove the clots that just kept reappearing and seemed to just keep getting worse and worse.
Chris remembers the events of those months a little clearer than Miranda, who was on a number of medications and certainly not feeling her best. He says after the first surgery to remove the couple of clots in her leg, doctors soon discovered more clots had appeared all up her leg and even behind her heart.
"They pulled all those clots out, and they put in a bunch of stints. The tried to save the leg. It was probably another couple of days after that, and they determined that there was no pulse in her foot," recalled Chris.
The doctors in Fargo determined she may have been allergic to her blood thinners, so they switched her medication, but still she wasn't improving. Eventually, they opted to do a below-the-knee amputation.
Chris says Miranda still wasn't improving and, when they discovered she had developed even more clots, they referred her to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic thought she was probably allergic to the second blood thinner she was on as well, so she was placed on yet another medication and flown to Rochester for more treatments.
Once in Rochester, Miranda underwent another surgery to remove the clots and replace the stints Fargo doctors had put in. That surgery also proved fruitless. Initially, they thought she was doing better and everything seemed fine, but she developed more clots.
At that point, Chris had a difficult decision to make. The doctors told him they needed to do another surgery, but they couldn't go in the same way they had been going in through her groin. Miranda says she imagines it like a scene from a movie. Her husband had to choose between two risky surgeries and, she says, thankfully he chose right.
Doctors broke up the clots in Miranda's body and went in through a vein in her arm to remove them. They replaced a few more stints, and Chris says from there, the road to recovery began.
Miranda had been through so much that the doctors initially thought she would need to be placed in a nursing home until March or April, but she healed faster than expected. "My amazing husband was there to hold my hand through it all," she said. "I don't think I would have healed as fast if he wasn't there. He was my rock. He made everything easier."
She says it also helped to know that back home, things were handled. Her family had picked up right where she and Chris had left off with their business, Lakes Shipping. Their daughter, Marissa "Missy" Sherman, who is a senior in high school, ran the family business, navigating through the busiest time of the year for a deliveries. Miranda says her sister-in-law and mother-in-law also did a lot to keep things afloat. Even their two young sons, Zane and Brady, have been helping out quite a bit.
It hasn't all been perfect, though. Miranda says recovery has been a struggle. She will be on strong blood thinners for the rest of her life and has to take it extra easy to avoid injuring herself, which may cause devastating internal bleeding, but she is making it work and happy to be back.
Slowly and surely she's getting going again, back to business as usual. She's a number of trips back to the Mayo Clinic for physical therapy and fitting for a prosthetic, but she's hopeful and grateful family, friends, and the community have been there to support her every step of the way.