Alex Lewis was a perfectly healthy man before he was struck down with a "common cold" in November 2013. In fact, so healthy was he that when the flu intensified, he refused to seek medical attention. Just two weeks after the first "flu" symptoms materialized, Alex found himself in the hospital undergoing life-saving surgery.
"I contracted what I thought was a common cold and it turned into a flu which then lead to Strep A. We had no idea what that was at the time and then about two weeks later we found ourselves undergoing amputations. Arm off, legs off and then six months in hospital with facial disfigurement," he explained on This Morning.
But it wasn't just Alex that was complacent about his health, his now-wife, Lucy, was also oblivious to the way in which Alex's "flu" would completely change the course of their life. "I think if it was sort of July, we would sort of questioned it," she explains. "But because it was November it was just flu time. He was still eating, he was still going to meetings and doing some work and things. It was just basically man flu."
But it wasn't just "man flu", it was something much more sinister. Alex had a streptococcal infection that had caused blood poisoning and organ failure. It was a condition that brought him close to death.
In fact, it's a miracle that he is even still alive today. Listen to him tell his extraordinary story here...
Just 10 days after he began to feel ill, Alex found himself waking up from a coma. However, it wouldn't end there for the young father, whose legs and arms were heavily infected. To stop the infection spreading, doctors had no choice but to amputate both of Alex's legs from the thigh, his left arm, a section of his face and later, after desperate attempts by surgeons to save it, his right arm.
Suddenly, Alex's active life came crumbling down around him. Now completely immobilized, he faced a bleak future. But thankfully, his extremely optimistic outlook and the love of his now-wife Lucy and their young son, Sam, managed to help him see a light at the end of what must have been a very dark tunnel.
His life may now be dramatically different to the 33-years that he spent able-bodied, but Alex isn't prepared to let time slip him by. Updating his supporters via his website, Alex shares stories of challenges that he's taken, such as kayaking in Greenland and skydiving.
The future may look very different to how he imagined it, but Alex is ready to embrace it with the same enthusiasm as before and we wish him all the best on his journey!