Mother struggles to survive after delivery

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JONES, Okla. -- Each year in Oklahoma about 50,000 women have a baby.

Last April, Lindsey Miller checked into a birthing center to deliver her second child, a daughter.

Miller had no idea that routine delivery would become a four-month long fight for her life.

When Paisley Miller was born, full-term, she seemed healthy.

However, in her first day of life, nurses picked up on some troubling symptoms.

They started Paisley on antibiotics, and she went home from the hospital healthy.

For Lindsey Miller, that day was the beginning of her own health crisis.

It started with a severe headache and excruciating abdominal pain.

"They didn't really know what was going on with me." said Miller. "The longer they waited the worse I got."

Two days after delivery doctors transferred Miller to OU Medical Center by ambulance.

"When we hit I-40 they went lights and sirens, and I'm sitting in the front seat not knowing what's happening." remembers Miller's grandmother, Lonnie Hohensee. "That's my baby granddaughter back there."

Surgeons at OU did an emergency hysterectomy, and finally made a diagnosis: Group A Strep.

It was the very same infection as her daughter Paisley.

"I don't remember anything until weeks later when I woke up." said Miller.

Her condition was grave. The infection had spread to her bloodstream, and Lindsey was in septic shock. Her organs were failing.

Her husband, Cody Miller and grandmother activated a prayer chain that spanned the globe.

"We wanted her to raise her children. That's what we was asking for in our prayers." said Hohensee.

Meanwhile, doctors at OU were fighting to save her life.

Lindsey's body couldn't maintain blood pressure. She'd been on and off life support with more bad days than good.

OU Physicians Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Will Ertl.

"There are times when to save someone's life you have an outcome that's not as favorable. Such as tissue necrosis, limb necrosis and Gangrene." said Dr. Ertl.

Miller lost her right leg, several toes, and portions of some fingers.

"I think will I ever be able to run with my kids? Will I be the mom I want to be to my children because of my disability now?" said Miller.

She was released from the hospital three months after delivery, disabled and struggling with a new life she never ever expected.

"I hate that I got it but I guess that's what was in store for me." Lindsey said. "God knows what he's doing, and I believe that."

Paisley is almost seven months old and shows no signs of that early infection.

"The last five months have been a long road for us." said Cody Miller.

Almost 500 people came out to the 'Jones Jam' last month to support the Miller family.

Ticket sales and raffle profits went directly to Lindsey.

She was recently fitted with a prosthetic leg, and is moving on with grace.

Lindsey Miller is thankful for her own survival, her daughter's complete recovery and the backbone of an entire community.

Lindsey is hopeful her story will save another woman's life.

She is speaking out so every Oklahoma family might be better prepared for the kind of complication no one was expecting.

Miller was recently added to the organ transplant list.

She will need a full kidney transplant after she suffered renal failure while fighting off the life-threatening Group A Strep infection.

If you would like to help Lindsey Miller, visit any BancFirst location and make a donation to the 'Lindsey Miller' benefit account.

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