Fighting for her life: ULM student's arms and legs amputated

Savannah and Stephanie Payne (Courtesy: KNOE)
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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A young woman is fighting for her life in the hospital. A severe infection forced doctors to amputate both arms and legs. Family and friends say they are keeping faith for her recovery, as her struggles are far from over.

Savannah Payne is used to leading a very active lifestyle, cheering at Ruston High for four years. Her parents, Tim and Stephanie Payne, say she's been at ULM working as a hall director, so she didn't come home a lot.

At the end of August, Payne was rushed to the hospital with what appeared to be seizures.

"Just over the course of this, she coded. They brought her back," Stephanie Payne said.

"[We] just knew her blood was so out of whack when she got here, all the levels and everything were in the wrong place. Her white blood count wasn't high, so they really didn't think infection," Tim Payne said.

It turns out she had a staph infection, plus strep, but severe side effects from some medications, plus treatments to lower her body temperature forced her parents and doctors to make a tough call-- cutting off parts of her arms and legs to save her life.

"They are keeping her sedated because this is so traumatic and painful," Stephanie Payne said.

Right now, her parents say they are pushing through with their faith.

"We are just amazed at the outpouring of love that has been poured on us," Stephanie Payne said. "Someone contacted some rabbis in Israel and wrote her name on the Wailing Wall, so there are people in Israel praying for her. That's how we get through it."

Payne's parents are helping their daughter push through the pain in the hopes for recovery.

"[It's been] one night that's lasted almost three weeks," Stephanie Payne said. "That's exactly how this feels."

Her parents say she's in a sterile environment to help with recovery, but they are staying hopeful. They say she's healthier now than she's been in weeks.