In 2013, Corinne was juggling being a single mum and running her company, when an irritating and persistent cough drastically developed into life-threatening sepsis within 24 hours.
She says, “My doctor examined me on a Friday afternoon and decided I had a chest infection and gave me antibiotics. On Saturday, I was dying with less than a 5% chance of survival.”
Corinne was rushed to hospital but within an hour of arriving she had slipped into unconsciousness and her organs had shut down. She spent six weeks fighting for her life, and after developing gangrene, doctors had to amputate all four of her limbs.
She recalls, “I survived sepsis, but unfortunately, my luck stopped there. I lost my legs and hands as a result of my body overreacting to the infection and shutting down. My limbs turned black and gangrene set in. Amputation was necessary and my life changed forever.”
Corinne was one of the 26,500 people who suffer life-changing disabilities due to sepsis every year in the UK.
Coming so close to death had a profound impact on her and seeing her recovery as a second chance, she was determined to make the most of her life.
She adds, “I had two choices - give up or get up. Buoyed by fantastic NHS staff, my family and friends, there was no way I was giving up.”
Corinne defied doctors with her remarkable progress and, after four months of rehabilitation, walked a mile through Glasgow on prosthetic legs to raise awareness of the charity she had set up.
Finding Your Feet was launched just a few weeks after Corinne’s surgery when she noticed a lack of support for people who have been through amputation.
The charity aims to reduce the social isolation that many feel through peer support and sporting activities.
From helping five people in 2013, today Finding Your Feet has helped more than 3,000 amputees across the country.
In five years, the charity has raised more than £1.2million to fund clubs and activities such as swimming, Pilates, skiing as well as support groups and counselling.
Corinne has also set four world records, including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and Ben Nevis.
“I have always set myself challenges and my amputations didn’t change that,” she explains.
She has also abseiled down a building and took up skiing and ballroom dancing.
In January 2019, after a five-year wait, Corinne underwent a 12-hour procedure to become the first Scottish person to receive a double hand transplant. She had tirelessly campaigned for greater awareness of organ, tissue and limb donation.
Corinne says, “I can’t believe the gift I’ve been given. I am going to use it, do the best I can with these hands and through Finding Your Feet hopefully I can encourage amputees to push themselves a wee bit more.
“There’s no reason we have to be as disabled as our first surgeries leave us.”