What happens when your only means of communicating with others is suddenly snatched away?

For the Deaf, their conversations are more akin to a painting than it is spoken paragraphs. Their hands are the brush with which they connect with each other; understand each other.

So, what happens when the brush is taken away? This is a question that Kayleigh Dawn Hickenbottom is about to find out firsthand.

The 34-year-old Deaf woman went to BSA's emergency room in the last week of February with complaints of a ferocious pain in her back. In a rapid turn of events that transpired within a short amount of time, Kayleigh was put in a medical coma as her body fought off an unusual but aggressive infection.

The infection itself triggered a horrifying chain of biological events within her body. In order to protect her organs from the infection, her body began to shut off blood supply to her extremities. By the time she woke up from the coma on Monday, Kayleigh's legs from mid-thigh down and her arms from mid-forearm up had turned necrotic.

The Deaf woman who had spent her life using her hands to paint moving pictures of communication is scheduled to have her lower legs and arms amputated in the next two weeks.

Helen Keller once said "Blindness cuts you off from the world; Deafness cuts you off from people".

For a Deaf person to lose their hands is to lose the fragile connection the power of community. What will be next for Kayleigh? The future is uncertain, but she is surrounded by a crowd of those who love her fiercely.

A fundraiser has been started by her supervisor, Dustin Rinehart, to assist in softening the financial blow that is guaranteed to come with Kayleigh's new future.

"Her life will forever be changed," said Dustin. "And her recovery will be a long road ahead. Kayleigh is unable to work due to her medical condition."

He goes on to encourage anyone who is willing and able to donate to the fund. Rinehart's mission is to help with the medical equipment, prosthetics, and hospital bills that await Kayleigh.

The gofundme link can be accessed at this link.

Kayleigh was recently transferred from the ICU to a restricted long-term care facility. When asked about her state of mind, Rhinehart assures that she remains her usual upbeat and sunny self despite all odds.

Note: Kayleigh's family wishes to thank everyone for their help, prayers, and well-wishes.

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