On September 18, 2013, Tina resident, Denise Windsor, 59, experienced a kidney and bacterial infections that caused her to be rushed to the emergency room in Liberty, Mo. That day, Denise was going about her business as usual. She was catering a meal, as she owned her own catering business for eight years and was also a hair dresser for 22 years. No one, not even her, could have predicted that her life would be turned upside down that day. “I was preparing a catered meal that morning, and I just started to feel sick. I was throwing up so I called my daughter Gara and she rushed me to the ER. I don’t remember any of it. I actually don’t remember much until about two weeks after that day. I was on so many medications and pain killers... I guess you could say I was in a daze,” Windsor said. The medication doctors were giving Windsor to keep her alive, started to cut off oxygen to her limbs. The medication was needed to keep her blood pressure up; however, the longer that a person takes that medication, the less oxygen one has in his or her body. Eventually, Windsor’s hands and feet began to dry up and turn black due to lack of oxygen. She eventually lost mobility in her limbs. After spending time in hospitals in both Liberty and Kansas City, Windsor’s family decided to transfer her to the Mayo Clinic. Windsor said they drove all night to get there. By the time they reached Mayos, it was too late to revive her limbs. Because the medication had killed the tissue in her limbs, both hands and feet were amputated. Windsor had her entire left hand removed, all the fingers on her right hand removed and both of her legs were removed below the knee cap, as well. When asked what medication caused her to lose her limbs she said, “I never asked a lot of questions. They (doctors) did what they had to and there is nothing I can do about it. I just did whatever it took to stay alive,” Windsor said. When asked what went through her mind when she found out she had to have her limbs amputated, she said, “If that’s what would keep me alive, that’s what I had to do. There was no discussion about it. I didn’t have an option” While at Mayos, Windsor met with an occupational and physical therapist everyday and she went through a lot of rehabilitation. She also was taught how to use a special bracelet that she attaches to her arm to help her eat, brush her hair and brush her teeth. She can insert a fork or brush into an attachment on the bracelet. Windsor is completely independent except for driving. “I can pretty much do everything anyone else can do,” Windsor said. Windsor’s husband, Danny Windsor, 52, works five days a week; therefore, Windsor often is in the home by herself. She does not have a care provider. “I get up, dress myself, do my own hair, brush my teeth and I can make myself something to eat,” Windsor said. Windsor said she can heat food up in the oven or make herself a sandwich. A benefit was held for Windsor in January 2014 before she returned home from the hospital. Along with helping pay for medical bills, the money from the benefit went toward putting in a handicap accessible bathroom for greater independence. Windsor said when she first returned home on Jan. 26, 2014 (after being hospitalized for almost five months), the hardest thing to do on her own was to shower, but the handicapped bathroom has made it relatively easy for her, she said. With the money from the benefit, Windsor and her family also replaced the sliding glass door that opens up to the back porch at her home with regular doors with latch door handles instead of door knobs so she can open the door herself and go outside. “It just takes more time to do things now. I’ve learned how to have patience with myself and to look at things in life differently. You can’t be in a hurry to do things,” Windsor said. Windsor said losing her arms was much harder than losing her legs. “I miss my arms more than my legs,” she said. However, she said she is thankful that she has enough arm strength that she can hoist herself into her wheelchair by herself. During the day, Windsor said she watches a lot of television and likes to read on her Nook. She also likes to go outside and water her flowers, which she can do on her own with a watering can. Windsor enjoys her flowers and said she’s thankful that her husband helps her take care of them. Windsor said she is thankful to have such a great family and great friends. She has been married to Danny for 23 years as of Friday. Windsor also has four children: Stacey Warner, 43; Jarrod Warner, 39; Gara Webb, 36; and Jacey Mohr, 27. She has 10 active grandchildren and she enjoys going to their activities when she can. Right now, it’s difficult for Windsor to travel to events. “I’ve never been a person to really plan stuff out. I just got up and went. Now, if I want to go somewhere it requires planning. I can’t just go visit someone or run to get groceries,” Windsor said. Windsor is now trying to win a handicapped accessible van through a contest, which would allow her to be more mobile, and make it easier to go to her grandchildren’s events and activities. This contest is sponsored through NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association), and happens during the month of May, which is “Mobility Awareness Month.”  To win one of the four vans being given away next month, Windsor must receive more online votes than others who have entered the contest. One can go to www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com, find Denise's story and picture and vote for her daily. The contest began at the beginning of May and ends May 31. “The van would make things much easier for me and I could be even more independent,” Windsor said. If she wins a van, she said she would eventually want to go to Kansas City and take classes that would teach her to drive the van. Windsor said the thing she misses most is being able to interact with people everyday. “I don’t necessarily miss work, but I miss being able to meet new people everyday. I’m a people person. I like meeting people,” Windsor said. This van would allow Windsor to spend more time with family and friends, and it would also allow her to be able to attend more events and activities. “Her goal was to be driving one year after it all began, but as a family we were unaware of the complicated process to gain her independence with driving, not only financially but also the equipment, dealer, etc...” said her youngest daughter Jacey. “Her main goal is to go visit her grandkids and their events since she never could before due to always working and to just have a day out without feeling like she is a burden to those around her. “My mother has inspired hundreds in the community by her perseverance and positive attitude all while in the comfort of her home unless she has a ride,” Jacey said. “It would be a blessing to be able to get her the complete independence that she deserves.”