I was a promising young athlete when I woke up with a sore throat – days later three of my limbs were amputated | The Sun

A PROMISING young athlete has revealed how he had three of his limbs amputated after waking up with a sore throat.

Australian footballer Josh Hanlon has told how he had both his legs and his right arm removed after waking up with a "tickle" on his throat.

He was just 20 years old when he went out with his friends on a Saturday night but the next day woke up with a sore throat.

“It was just your standard sore throat,” he told 7Life.

“I was crook on Sunday but on Monday it just got worse and worse.

“I went to Woolies to get something to cook but I just couldn’t eat anything or get comfy.”


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Josh then realised the tickle was actually something more serious so rang his mum and agreed to meet her at the hospital.

Upon arrival, he was immediately placed in an induced coma as doctors discovered a deadly bacterial infection had spread across his body causing him toxic shock, sepsis and organ failure.

Josh recalled: “It was really bad. My whole body had shut down”.

The 21-year-old who spent weeks fighting for his life, in and out of a coma was eventually told that he had to undergo a triple limb amputation.

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Medics would have to cut off below the knee on both of his legs as well as his right hand at the wrist.

He said: “They managed to cut everything off, or out, and I finally got over the infection.

Following the life-changing operations, Josh was fitted with prosthetic legs and a hand and gradually learned how to walk again.

After spending three months in hospital he was allowed home.

He said: “I walked out of the hospital. It was a pretty cool feeling.

“I started to feel back to normal – I was able to walk and get out and around.

“I had my freedom back and it just snowballed from there.”

Despite being a triple amputee and the challenges he faced, Josh was keen to return to sports and eventually joinedwheelchair basketball in Wagga Wagga, NSW

He said: [I was enjoying] getting back to being fit and healthy, going out, having fun, just keeping busy and trying new things”.

But he then rediscovered his true passion which is slalom skiing and at the age of 24, he made his debut at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games.

He is currently training for the Alpine Ski World Cup later this year.

Speaking about his recovery he added: “I’m still only a couple of years in and I have a long way to go.

“But if I can try and get more awareness out there that life can get a lot easier after an accident, I’ll do that.

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“The better you get, the more fun it seems to be – and there’s less fear the better you get.

“So each day is more and more fun.”

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