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Season of Sharing helps Bradenton couple with rent after devastating health issues

Updated on December 21st, 2021 Written by Turning Points

Saundra Amrhein Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Published 7:00am ET Dec 19 2021

The household budget was already tight for Kelli and Robbin Whitehead before a fateful day two years ago when Kelli waded into the Gulf of Mexico off Cortez Beach on Anna Maria Island.

The next day, the Bradenton couple noticed a troubling rash on the back of Kelli’s left thigh. It was soon followed by blisters that ran down her leg, which began to turn purple. The Whiteheads went to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, where doctors determined that Kelli had contracted an aggressive flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis, commonly caused by bacteria that enter the body through cuts or breaks in the skin.

Within a week, Kelli had to have her left leg amputated. On the brink of organ failure, she was quickly placed on a ventilator and dialysis.

In the two years since, the Whiteheads credit her doctors – especially Dr. James Kotick – for saving her life.  

“God saved my life, but they had anointed hands,” she said of the surgeons who cared for her.

Kelli’s medical problems persist – she’s had 29 surgeries and multiple skin grafts in her abdominal region after doctors had to cut away infected parts of her stomach, and she has fallen twice while using a walker, breaking three ribs and her right ankle – and the couple’s financial situation has gone from tenuous to a crisis.

Continue to read their story and how Turning Points was able to help on the Herald Tribune –