Husband: Take her leg, I want her to live

Husband: Take her leg, I want her to live »Play Video
David Hammersley explains his decision to have doctors amputate his wife's (right) Kathy's leg while she was unconscious after becoming infected with flesh-eating bacteria.

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. -- "I felt like I was getting sick the night before, and from that point I don’t have any memory. They told my family I had less than a five percent chance to survive."

Those are the words of a woman who sits on her Battle Ground porch, without most of her right leg, relearning how to live life on a motorized wheelchair.

Kathy Hammersley doesn't know how she came down with an infection back in April, but it nearly killed her. She was in the hospital unconscious for two weeks before waking up to learn, doctors amputated her leg.

"They just told me how sick I was and in order to save my life they had to cut it off," Hammersley told KATU.

The person, who made the ultimate decision, giving doctors permission to do what they had to do to give Kathy a chance at life, was her husband, David.

"You’re balancing her wishes ... would she want to live without a leg or just go? Would she rather just say this is enough?" David Hammersley said.

David decided his wife would choose life.

"Every day of my life I’ll be sorry I cut her leg off, but I’m so thankful that we did," David Hammersley said as he fought back tears.

The husband, who is now grateful to be home with his wife after three months in the hospital and rehab, says he knows he made the right decision, but it feels good to hear it from his wife.

"I never had any anger at all about what’s happened," Kathy explained, "because I got a second chance at life, which was amazing."