British lawmaker returns to Parliament after losing his hands and feet to sepsis

A British lawmaker was returning to work Wednesday, six months after sepsis put him in a coma and forced the amputation of his hands and feet.

Conservative legislator Craig Mackinlay was due to take his seat in the House of Commons for the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session, with his wife and 4-year-old daughter watching from the public gallery.

Mackinlay, 57, recounted in a series of interviews how he was taken to hospital on Sept. 28 after feeling ill. At the hospital, he said, he turned “bright blue” as sepsis caused clotting that stopped blood getting to his limbs.


Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection that occurs when the immune system overreacts and starts to damage the body’s tissues and organs.

Suffering from septic shock, Mackinlay was put in an induced coma and his wife was told he had a 5% chance of survival.

When he awoke after 16 days, he said his limbs had turned black and were hard “like plastic.” His hands and feet became “desiccated, clenched and drying,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

On Dec. 1, his hands and feet were amputated.

“They managed to save above the elbows and above the knees,” he told the BBC. “So you might say I’m lucky.”

Mackinlay, who has represented the South Thanet district of southeast England in Parliament since 2015, said he plans to run to become a member of Parliament again when an election is called later in the year.

He said he wants to be known as “the bionic MP.”

Mackinlay plans to campaign for greater awareness of the signs of sepsis — and for Britain’s state-funded National Health Service, which treated him and saved his life — to offer better treatment and prosthetics to people who have lost more than one limb.

“People can’t believe how cheerful I have been,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “I have not had much to be cheerful about, but that’s my nature. There’s not much you can do about it, so there’s not much point in getting upset about it.”

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