Teacher who lost hands, feet from flesh eating bacteria fights to get his life back

- At 40 years old, James Newsome of Southgate is learning a new way of life. Back in January, he went to the hospital. Due to pending litigation, though, he's unwilling to divulge the details as to why and where. And frankly, right now he says he only remembers arriving at a hospital. 

"Then I woke up several weeks later."

He says during his stay Strep A bacteria, which normally causes strep throat, got into his blood, where it became a flesh-eating bacteria. The result was septic shock, and the way to treat that is through medication and cutting blood supply to the extremities. 

"It resulted in amputation," he says. Both his hands and feet were now gone. "The tradeoff is almost certain death." 

The shock of realizing what happened took him down some dark paths. But that's when he would remember his reason for living. 

"My daughter Anna. There is nothing more important to me than being her father," he said. "I had a picture of her at the foot of my bed. Anytime I was feeling down and out, I looked at the picture to remind myself why that I'm here and why I need to push so hard."

Now that he's home, new goals are on the horizon. 

"My number one goal right now is to get a wheelchair van," James said.

He is hoping that one door will open another, and also that with the help of some modern technology he'll be able to regain some mobility.  

"I'm happy to have this," he says, holding up his hand, "but my insurance doesn't pay for the next level of hands."

James says he's motivated to not just get back to a new normal, he also wants to get back to work. For him that means teaching at Randall Elementary School in Taylor. He says the district will have a job waiting for him as soon as he's ready and able. 

"I hope to be able to do those things," he said. "I want to get back in the classroom."

And that's where you can help. James has a fundraising page at PlumFund.com

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