Tory MP tells how each his palms and ft have been amputated after sepsis

A Tory MP has told how both his hands and feet were amputated after he got sepsis.

Craig Mackinlay said he is “extremely lucky to be alive” as he prepares to return to Parliament on Wednesday.

The MP for South Thanet told of the horror of waking from an induced coma to find his limbs had turned completely black. Doctors were forced to amputate his hands and feets as they battled to save his life.

Now the 57-year-old wants to be known as the first “bionic MP” after he was fitted with prosthetic legs and hands.

Mr Mackinlay began to feel unwell one evening in September last year and went to bed early. His wife Kati, who is a pharmacist, became concerned the next morning after she noticed his arms felt cold and she couldn’t feel a pulse. He was rushed to hospital where within half an hour he turned “a very strange blue”. Speaking to BBC News, he said: “My whole body, top to bottom, ears, everything, blue.”

Craig Mackinlay said his four-year-old has adapted 'probably better than anybody else frankly'

Craig Mackinlay said his four-year-old has adapted ‘probably better than anybody else frankly’

Hospital staff realised he had gone into septic shock and he was put into an induced coma that would last for 16 days. His wife was told she should prepare for the worst as he had only a one in 20 chance of survival. Sepsis is a rare but serious condition that happens when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection and attacks its own tissues and organs.

When Mr Mackinlay woke up he found that his arms and legs had “turned black” and felt like hard plastic. It was later decided to amputate his limbs. After he came around after the operation in December he said he felt strangely alert and wondered if the amputations had not actually taken place. “But I woke up and I looked down and you obviously realise that they had,” he told BBC News.

After having prosthetics fitted, Mr Mackinlay has had to relearn how to walk. He said the loss of his hands has been the hardest thing to deal with. “You don’t realise how much you do with your hands… use your phone, hold the hand of your child, touch your wife, do the garden,” he said, adding that his prosthetic hands are “amazing… but it’s never going to be quite the same”.

Craig Mackinlay said he wants to be known as the 'bionic MP'

Craig Mackinlay said he wants to be known as the ‘bionic MP’

Despite feeling “lucky” to be alive, Mr Mackinlay said he sometimes has “low moments”. “You’re in the land of nod having a nice dream, and then you wake up and it’s ‘I haven’t got any hands’,” he said. “That is the realisation every morning.

“It’s very easy to say – and I do try and stick to it – there’s not much point moaning and complaining or getting down about the things you can’t do. You’ve got to be cheerful and positive about things you can do and I find every day there’s something new that I can do.” Mr Mackinlay paid tribute to his wife and his four-year-old daughter Olivia, who he said had adapted “probably better than anybody else frankly”.

He still plans to stand for re-election and hopes that his story will inspire people. “When children come to Parliament’s fantastic education centre I want them to be pulling their parents’ jacket or skirts or their teacher and saying: ‘I want to see the bionic MP today’,” he said.