After sepsis took her limbs, an Ewa Beach woman faces her new reality with optimism

Lauren Washington smiles through it all and uses humor as she faces the future
Just one year ago, Lauren Washington was happily living her life as a military wife, caring for her soldier and her three kids.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 4:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just one year ago, Lauren Washington was happily living her life as a military wife, caring for her husband and her three kids. That all changed abruptly following a visit to the emergency room.

“Last March, I went to the ER with right abdominal pain and we discovered I had a kidney stone. Unfortunately, I went septic and due to complications from the sepsis, I ended up needing quadruple amputations,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, sepsis is defined as an extreme response to an infection. It can lead to a chain reaction, which may trigger tissue damage, organ failure and death.

More than 350,000 people die each year from sepsis.

Since her husband, Staff Sgt. Lance Washington, is a full-time Hawaii Army National Guard Soldier, as a dependent, she is being treated at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Brook is where wounded warriors are treated for severe combat injuries.

“Thankfully, they had space available and I was able to be treated there for physical therapy, occupational therapy, my prosthetics, so that’s where I have been since January,” said Lauren Washington.

The time away hasn’t been easy on the Washingtons and it’s not over yet as Lauren Washington will have to remain at Brook for at least another year for treatments and rehabilitation.

“When it came to the Washington ohana, it was really quite evident that this was our opportunity for us to just really put our money where our mouth is to take care of not just a soldier but that soldier and a family in need,” said Col. David Hatcher, Lance’s commander.

A benefit for the Washingtons, sponsored by the Hawaii National Guard Association, is scheduled for this Thursday, May 25, to help pay for their rising medical and transportation bills.

The colonel’s wife also took the lead to help retrofit the Washington home to make it more user friendly when Lauren finally returns.

“I could sleep knowing that we have such amazing family and friends here and his command has been so supportive,” she shared.

What is most amazing about the Washingtons’ ordeal is their outlook, as they will surely face many challenges in the future.

“I am here, I didn’t die, I am going to do what I can and make the best of life, two-point-oh,” said Lauren.

“I am just thankful every day that she is still here with us and for her overall attitude, demeanor and overall feelings about it. For her, always being positive helps me to be positive,” said Staff Sgt. Washington.

Despite all that she and her family has gone through, Lauren has maintained a sense of humor. She participated in a photo shoot, all with well known adages that take on a lighter tone to a serious matter.

“You gotta be able to laugh, you know. I believe laughter is some of the best medicine,” she said.

If you want to help out the family, this Thursday’s benefit will be held at the Hawaii National Guard Association building, 891 Valkenburgh St. Honolulu from 5pm to 10pm.

They also have a GoFundMe page.