Mt. Vernon Register-News

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September 7, 2013

Faith, hope inspires amputee

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On Dec. 19, Goebel's husband was told medical personnel had done everything possible, and family members were called to be with her in her final days.

"My family was with me at home, but not to celebrate the holidays, and do the things we had prepared and planned for. My sisters were asked to plan my funeral," Goebel said.

Christmas was spent in an intensive care unit, with family and friends joining in singing carols and music from the church program the previous evening. After singing "Shout to the Lord," Goebel said tears ran down her cheeks, and "at that point, my health took a turn. I am a Christmas miracle," she said, although Christmas wasn't officially celebrated until January at her home.

In February 2002, Goebel lost both of her legs by amputation. In April, she had hand surgery on her right hand; in July on her left hand.

Most bi-lateral amputees are required to have a lengthy rehabilitation following surgery; Goebel spent just two days in the hospital and went home for rehabilitation.

In March she was equipped with a prosthesis hand and legs.

"That day I was praying for and praising God for was horrendous. The pain made my body drench in sweat. I don't know that I could handle it and the flame that I so desperately tried to keep lit is now dwindling," she said.

The next day she received a call from Heather Mills McCartney, the Beatles' Paul's ex-wife, also an amputee. The call was arranged by one of Goebel's church friends. They talked for 45 minutes.

Goebel and her husband divorced in 2008, "another casualty of the strep germ," she said, adding they remain good friends and on the same page for their children.

"Yes, I've had my bad days and I call it being pruned down to Loretta in the rough. My hair came out in hand fuels, I had scars on both sides of my mouth from where they placed the life support bit in at normal weight and when they filled my body full of fluid it split my skin. I have three 3 1/2 inch scars on my side where they kept my body open chasing the infection as they whisked me into surgery multiple times," she said, demonstrating her missing body parts simultaneously.

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