Twin Cities woman learning a 'new normal'

9:51 AM, Oct 24, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- After 59 years of living, a winter bug struck Sue Johnson last February.

"It just felt like I was getting the flu," Johnson said recalling that day.

But her temperature began sounding an alarm, at 105 that would change her life forever.

"I remember him looking down and me saying you are one very sick girl," Johnson said of the paramedic who was treating her after a family member called 911.

Those were the last words she heard before a ten day coma.

Sue said she awoke to learn she had gone into septic shock after a kidney stone caused fluids to back up in her system and while she was out blood clots stopped blood flow to her hands and feet.

When she woke she learned her hands and feet had to go.

"It was incomprehensible to me that they were going to cut my hands and feet off. I just couldn't believe it. How am I going to live without my hands and feet," Johnson remembers thinking.

It was then Johnson said she thought that it was time to give up.

"For just a very short time I kind of wish I hadn't made it," Johnson said.

Sue Johnson didn't let that wish last and we are all better for it because in the last 8 months she's lived like we all should.

She's learned how to use her new legs and a few pairs of prosthetic hands.

Learning to grasp the simple is what's hard now.

What isn't what most of us fail to pick up.

"I appreciate a lot more things," she said.

And it isn't what she can and can't grasp with a new set of hands and feet.

It's what she gets to do with her heart.

"Tell the people you love that you do. Make sure they know you love them, let them know it," Johnson said.
The benefit for Sue Johnson is from 6pm-9pm Thursday night at Town and Country in St. Paul at 300 North Mississippi River Boulevard, St. Paul, Minnesota 55103.

If you would like to learn more on how to donate visit Sue's CaringBridge website:

There is also a second site to donate at

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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