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Chester County Press

Jenny Moore is still standing tall

09/28/2021 12:04PM ● By Steven Hoffman

For Jenny Moore, life as she knew it changed three years ago. A simple cut on the foot, irritated while she standing on her feet at work, progressed to an infection. Moore, like many people working a part-time job, didn’t have insurance. She had diabetes, but due to the high cost of insulin, she was rationing the much-needed medicine.

She explained, “With me, an infection can go from zero to 60 in no time. I had just finished working the Friday after Thanksgiving and planned on going to church the next day. Eventually, I became concerned and called my uncle and asked if he could take me to the hospital. He did. I found out I was septic, and then I contracted MRSA (an infection) at the hospital. From there, I was going in and out of consciousness. I asked the doctor if he was going to remove my toes. He said, ‘we are going to have to take a portion of your leg.’ I had just turned 47.”

On Sunday evening they took off the bottom of her foot. The next day they removed her foot. 

“All the while, I had an antibiotic IV going into my system. By Thursday the antibiotics were working, but they weren’t sure if they had gotten the infection out of my system, so they amputated my leg below the knee,” she explained.

“When they told me that, I was in shock,” she remembered. “It happened so quickly. It was done, but it took me a very long time to comprehend everything.”

Moore was in the hospital for weeks. They couldn’t release her because her hemoglobin count was five. It shouldn’t have been lower than ten. Eventually she was released to a nursing home in December of 2018.

“When I moved in, I thought it would just be for six months. It has been three years,” she said.

Remembering that time is still difficult.

“I had every complication you could think of, including two or three infections,” she said. “I had fluid coming out of my skin. Eventually, I got to the point where I could get up easier and actually transfer myself. And then I got COVID for the first time.”

She was sent to the hospital where they first thought she had pneumonia.  COVID-19 was still new to everyone. She was on an antibiotic for a week and then they released her back to the nursing home. 

“I remember how incredibly uncomfortable I was in my bed,” she explained.

She was sent back to the hospital, where they eventually figured out it was COVID. 

“I felt horrible. I really thought I was having a stroke and that I was going to die,” she said.“When they thought I had a stroke, I remember that I could think the right words in my mind, but I couldn’t speak them. People didn’t understand what I was trying to say. It was frightening. My right arm had a twitch and I couldn’t hold a cup. Aides had to hold a cup for me with a straw. They gave me chopped food and thickened liquids.” 

She quickly added, “I am blessed beyond belief. I am so blessed the power of prayer is strong. I am living proof of that. I’m speaking my truth.”

If there is one thing Jenny Moore has, it is faith.

She came back to the nursing home and was quarantined for 14 days. When she left, she had been in a single room that she had made her own. It was filled with items from her friends or decorations she had crafted herself. At some point, there was a Patriots’ wreath on her door.

But when she returned, she was put into a double room. But with her faith not wavering an inch, she said, “I can’t thank my church family enough. They prayed, sent cards, texted, and made window visits due to the restrictions of COVID. They gave me pure love and it made all the difference in my life.”

Her church is Frazier Mennonite. “I can never thank them enough,” she said. 

In January, two days before she was supposed to get her first vaccine shot, she discovered she had COVID, so she couldn’t get it. She had to wait another 14 days, and eventually got both of her vaccine shots. Thankfully, she had no reaction to the shots other than some aches.

Meanwhile, she had to start all of her physical therapy over again, from the beginning.

“My PT session is about a half an hour,” she said. “When I first came back from the hospital, I was just sitting on the side of the bed, then eventually transferring to a wheel chair. From there, it was baby steps. Then I thought I’m going to stand up to get in the wheel chair. And I did. I felt like I had climbed a mountain. I learned it takes physical and mental strength to do what I do. God helps. I know I’ll walk again. I never thought otherwise. I’m blessed. I could have died several times. God helped me for a reason. One of my favorite quotes is, ‘never put a period where God puts a comma.’”

She made progress. “I did a lot of work on my own, strengthening my arms and standing,” she explained. “People take for granted just dressing every day. If they saw me get dressed in the morning, they would think I was exercising. I’m much better at my ‘walking.’ Last Friday, I did 200 yards. I was exhausted when I was done, but my endorphins were high.”

And now she is waiting for her prosthesis.

“It is in the works,” she said. “They need other things. Billing needs this and that. I will need special shoes. If I go up or down in my weight, I may have to get a new prosthesis. The cost of the prosthesis is $10,000.”

But she said her physical therapy has prepared her to be able to use the prosthesis when it comes.

“Yes, I’m used to putting weight on my stump again,” she said bluntly.

Her dream now is to go to West Chester to new apartments they are building called Pinckney Commons. They are affiliated with the Melton Center. You can hear the excitement in her voice as she said, “It would be a perfect location. There is a bus stop right there.”

She’s already planning to ride that bus to some newly found freedom.

“What I know about Pinkney Commons is there are 10 townhomes there and only four ADA apartments available. First come, first served,” she said. “I can’t put my name in until 120 days before they open. I always pray to God. I tell him, ‘I’ll go where you send me, but please send me to Pinkney Commons.’”

And Moore knows she is not praying alone.

“In my church, I have a group of five women I call my care team. They help me with calling people. The give me mental support and anything else I need. They visit me once a week. One of the ladies takes me to Walmart, and they take me to church,” she said.  

And now… she is waiting, and hoping.

“I’m just waiting, waiting patiently. I’ve learned there are things that are out of my control. I don’t like it, but I accept it. Spiritually I’m a better person. I have much more faith than I ever thought I would have. The glory is to God,” she said.

And so Jenny Moore waits. She waits for her prosthesis. She waits for her apartment. She knows she will need furniture and other things.

“God gave me another chance to start over,” she said. “I just keep praying. I just keep praying.”  

She is praying for her independence, and with her faith, she knows she will get that. She is already envisioning that bus stop in front of Pinkney Commons. And God willing, she will be on that bus to freedom.