Waking Without Limbs-The Incredible Story of Wendy Wallace The Most Positive and Happy Quad Amputee You’ll Ever Meet!

Wendy Wallace is a Christian living & positivity coach and a digital content creator at One Exceptional Life.

In this episode, Wendy shared her story of having necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria that cause her to be a quadruple amputee and how she overcame this adversity through God who give her strength.

As a mother, a husband, and an entrepreneur, Wendy wondered how she could fulfil her duties with her condition.

However, she did not let her condition stop her. With the help of God, many prayers, and her loved ones, Wendy thrives and takes the next step for her future.

Along the way, she realizes that things will happen not always because of something we have done, but because God needs it to use it for whatever his purpose is.

She is always been optimistic, thankful, and always looking for blessings in disguise. This helps her have the right mindset to face her challenges in life.

Wendy Wallace’s story is motivational, spiritual, and powerful, one who rises from the darkness of disease and becomes a vessel to deliver God’s joy and peace to create an exceptional life.

Episode 242 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must-listen for anybody who believes in God and the blessings he bestows on us, and that he helps us overcome whatever adversity we face, no matter how difficult it is.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity and purpose.” 


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Brad Miller 0:00

Today, Wendy Wallace is with us. And she blogs at one exceptionallife.com.

Brad Miller 0:06

And she calls herself the most happy and the most positive and happy quad

Brad Miller 0:12

amputee you'll ever meet. And we welcome to Beyond adversity

Brad Miller 0:15

Wendy Wallace. Wendy, welcome.

Wendy Wallace 0:16

Thank you so much. It's an honor to be here.

Brad Miller 0:20

Indeed is an honor to have you join us here today. And what our podcast

Brad Miller 0:25

is all about trying to be helpful to people. We've had some challenges

Brad Miller 0:28

in life to help them find a process to get through it. And you've

Brad Miller 0:31

had a few significant challenges in your life. And then you've

Brad Miller 0:37

developed a pathway for but let's hear your story a little

Brad Miller 0:40

bit about, you may have more than one, but I know you have

Brad Miller 0:42

a primary challenge that you share with folks in your teaching.

Brad Miller 0:46

And just take us through the story a little bit about the

Brad Miller 0:49

challenge that you faced, and how that's kind of led

Brad Miller 0:51

you a little bit toward what you're doing.

Wendy Wallace 0:52

Okay, well, I am a wife and mom of three. They’re adult

Wendy Wallace 0:59

children, I've got grandbabies, but one and about 11

Wendy Wallace 1:03

years ago, back in 2011, I was doing the mom thing grant

Wendy Wallace 1:07

and the kids around, and I started to come down with

Wendy Wallace 1:12

what I thought was flu symptoms. But after a couple of days

Wendy Wallace 1:17

in bed trying to beat it, it became evident I wasn't gonna

Wendy Wallace 1:21

beat it. And we needed a little help. So my husband insisted

Wendy Wallace 1:25

we go to the hospital. And when I got there, I needed oxygen.

Wendy Wallace 1:34

In fact, we actually needed to call an ambulance to

Wendy Wallace 1:36

get me there. So I could have oxygen, and it's only a

Wendy Wallace 1:39

half-hour drive to the hospital. So I remember the oxygen

Wendy Wallace 1:42

mask and fighting with the doctor because I'm claustrophobic

Wendy Wallace 1:46,

and the mask scared me. But that was the last thing I remember,

Wendy Wallace 1:51

they put an oxygen mask on my face. And it was over.

Wendy Wallace 1:56

I was in a medically induced coma for three weeks.

Wendy Wallace 2:01

And the day after I got there, they ended up life

Wendy Wallace 2:05

leading me up to a local beggar teaching hospital

Wendy Wallace 2:10

where they could better care for me. And when

Wendy Wallace 2:12

I got there. The doctors told my husband, okay,

Wendy Wallace 2:16

she's got flesh-eating bacteria. It's called necrotizing fasciitis,

Wendy Wallace 2:20

and prepare yourself because she's not going to

Wendy Wallace 2:23

live through this one. And my husband just said,

Wendy Wallace 2:29

that's not happening today. And he just said, you know,

Wendy Wallace 2:32

you don't know my God, and you do not know what

Wendy Wallace 2:34

he's capable of. You do what you need to do,

Wendy Wallace 2:37

and I'll start praying. And so my family rallied the troops,

Wendy Wallace 2:41

the church, I had a business that I ran from home, and

Wendy Wallace 2:45

we had friends and business people all over the country.

Wendy Wallace 2:49

And you know how social media is word gets out.

Wendy Wallace 2:52

And people started praying. And God heard

Wendy Wallace 2:56

those prayers. And in spite of the fact that

Wendy Wallace 3:00

I needed five or six surgeries just to remove the

Wendy Wallace 3:02

growing bacteria that was eating my body.

Wendy Wallace 3:06

Eventually, they realized I wasn't going anywhere.

Wendy Wallace 3:10

But in order to save my life, they needed to amputate.

Wendy Wallace 3:14

And it was at that point they took me out of the coma

Wendy Wallace 3:17

to tell me what was going on and ask my

Wendy Wallace 3:20

permission, which I think is kind of weird. I thought

Wendy Wallace 3:25

it was taking a nap, for all I knew. And they just said,

Brad Miller 3:29

so just to be clear, when you went to sleep

Brad Miller 3:31

when you went to sleep when they put the oxygen on you.

Brad Miller 3:34

You were kind of really unaware about the

Brad Miller 3:36

severity of your condition. Exactly.

Wendy Wallace 3:38

I was still thinking I just was having trouble

Wendy Wallace 3:40

breathing because of whatever bug I caught

Brad Miller 3:43

flu or something like that. Okay.

Wendy Wallace 3:45

And you know, also I had an unusual swelling on my

Wendy Wallace 3:49

leg, which later and they won't confirm or deny,

Wendy Wallace 3:54

but for the most part, we determined that the

Wendy Wallace 3:57

bacteria came through an ingrown hair on my leg.

Wendy Wallace 4:03

Which is really scary. So yeah, they said,

Wendy Wallace 4:07

Okay, here's your choice. You can say your goodbyes,

Wendy Wallace 4:11

or we're going to amputate both hands and both feet.

Wendy Wallace 4:15

And my husband is standing there, and he's crying

Wendy Wallace 4:18

and the doctors like, Okay, you get to choose

Wendy Wallace 4:21

and I, like yeah, no, I'm not ready. They need me.

Wendy Wallace 4:25

I need them. Just do what you have to do.

Wendy Wallace 4:29

And the lights went back out on me, and when

Wendy Wallace 4:32

I woke up after the three weeks total I had

Wendy Wallace 4:36

bandages where my hands and feet had been

Brad Miller 4:41

What a shock

Wendy Wallace 4:44

I didn't see it coming I had no idea what was happening.

Brad Miller 4:48

So just to kind of get a slight background

Brad Miller 4:50

that you had that you think gives us ingrown

Brad Miller 4:52

hair or we've had it bothering you or

Brad Miller 4:54

whatever it's been a Jedi history of any villains

Brad Miller 4:57

line these crazy that whatever this crazy disease

Wendy Wallace 4:59

No, it was my leg that was starting to swell up, which

Wendy Wallace 5:04

I thought was weird, but I wasn't feeling good.

Wendy Wallace 5:07

So I didn't think that much about it. But it's the only

Wendy Wallace 5:11

thing that we can figure could have caused it.

Wendy Wallace 5:14

And the bacteria does come through, like

Wendy Wallace 5:18

an open cut or sore or something like that.

Brad Miller 5:23

Oh my goodness, wow. So tell me, Wendy, tell me what,

Brad Miller 5:31

before we get into how you got out of this, you know

Brad Miller 5:34

how you chose to navigate beyond this.

Brad Miller 5:38

Give me a little bit of what life was like in that first days, weeks,

Brad Miller 5:44

when you first came out of this, you had this incredible

Brad Miller 5:47

trauma to your body, and then drama with your family.

Brad Miller 5:51

And a blow had to be a blow to your emotions

Brad Miller 5:54

into your spiritual life in your psyche and everything.

Brad Miller 5:58

And you were asleep. You're basically out

Brad Miller 6:01

of it asleep much of that time. What was life

Brad Miller 6:05

like for you, in the first domino, two weeks a month,

Brad Miller 6:09

whatever it was that you had to kind of deal

Brad Miller 6:11

with the shock of what happened to you, tell me about life.

Wendy Wallace 6:14

I was in the hospital for two months. And

Wendy Wallace 6:17

then I went to rehab for another month.

Wendy Wallace 6:20

And truly, there, I have very little memory

Wendy Wallace 6:26

of what was going on. In fact, I remember

Wendy Wallace 6:29

going to a checkup several months later, and

Wendy Wallace 6:33

my husband was so excited because all the

Wendy Wallace 6:35

nurses and all the doctors were like,

Wendy Wallace 6:36

Yay, she survived. And he was so excited to

Wendy Wallace 6:39

take me and show me, kind of show me off

Wendy Wallace 6:42

to these people. And nothing looked familiar

Wendy Wallace 6:46

that people, I didn't recognize any of it. But I

Wendy Wallace 6:50

do remember when I woke up praying to God,

Wendy Wallace 6:57

and my favorite scripture has always been

Wendy Wallace 7:02

proverbs three, five and six, which says, Trust in

Wendy Wallace 7:06

the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not

Wendy Wallace 7:08

unto thine own understanding, in all thy

Wendy Wallace 7:10

ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.

Wendy Wallace 7:14

And I prayed that scripture to God, and I said,

Wendy Wallace 7:18

Oh, Lord, I don't know what this is going

Wendy Wallace 7:20

to look like, I'm a mom, how am I going to

Wendy Wallace 7:23

care for my husband and kids and run the

Wendy Wallace 7:26

house and run my business? And how am

Wendy Wallace 7:29

I going to do this, you know, I can't do this

Wendy Wallace 7:30

without you. So I'm going to choose to trust

Wendy Wallace 7:34

you for some whatever reason you have for

Wendy Wallace 7:36

allowing this to happen in my life. We're in this

Wendy Wallace 7:39

together, and I'm going to need you. And that

Wendy Wallace 7:43

is so clear to me. And, in fact of them waking me

Wendy Wallace 7:47

up is very clear. The rest of it is a blur. But I

Wendy Wallace 7:55

do remember, just confusion. What am I

Wendy Wallace 8:01

going to do now? Why did this happen to me?

Wendy Wallace 8:04

What did I do? Where do I go from here? How am I going to

Brad Miller 8:10

the bargaining type of thing? And me mom?

Brad Miller 8:12

Yeah, yeah, I was on the fence of physical

Brad Miller 8:16

manifestations, you know, you had hands and feet,

Brad Miller 8:21

and now you don't you have bandages or

Brad Miller 8:22

whatever the situation was, what was going on with

Brad Miller 8:26

you, kind of psychologically or emotionally

Brad Miller 8:28

about just that physical blow, literally, you know, blow to your body

Wendy Wallace 8:34

There was a lot of sadness. And, you know,

Wendy Wallace 8:38

obviously, having to lean on strangers to do

Wendy Wallace 8:42

the most personal thing for me was humbling.

Wendy Wallace 8:47

And I was scared. Because I was so accustomed

Wendy Wallace 8:57

to doing things by myself. And I know

Brad Miller 9:01

what you said your visit, you said you your

Brad Miller 9:03

you know, your mom and wife in ran the

Brad Miller 9:07

household and had a business that's a lot

Brad Miller 9:09

on anybody's plate in the best of circumstances.

Brad Miller 9:12

And here you are, with this dramatic change in your situation.

Wendy Wallace 9:18

I think the biggest part was just where do we go from here?

Wendy Wallace 9:22

What is my future going to look like? Our

Wendy Wallace 9:26

kids were teenagers at the time. So I had the

Wendy Wallace 9:30

help that I needed, you know, I always

Wendy Wallace 9:33

taught them how to help, and they knew how

Wendy Wallace 9:37

to cook and clean and do their laundry

Wendy Wallace 9:39

and all of those things. Right. But interestingly

Wendy Wallace 9:46

enough, a lot of times, I get the question,

Wendy Wallace 9:48

what were you angry at God? And I wasn't,

Wendy Wallace 9:52

because I have always understood that God

Wendy Wallace 9:57

has a reason for allowing the things in our lives.

Wendy Wallace:

And at that point, I didn't know what they were.

Wendy Wallace:

But I needed to figure it out so that I could move forward. And sometimes,

Brad Miller:

well, let's go ahead. I'm sorry. Sometimes what

Brad Miller:

I want to get that a little bit in there sometimes what?

Wendy Wallace:

And it's funny because it took me a really

Wendy Wallace:

long time to figure this out. But sometimes

Wendy Wallace:

God gives you opportunities to see what

Wendy Wallace:

you're gonna make of it, before he starts

Wendy Wallace:

guiding us. And that's what happened.

Brad Miller:

Well, let's, let's go with it. Yeah, let's go with that

Brad Miller:

for a second. You mentioned a couple of times

Brad Miller:

here windy about, Okay, what's next? And then

Brad Miller:

what's the what is, you know, what can I do with

Brad Miller:

this opportunity here? So let's just talk for a minute

Brad Miller:

or two, one day about what you did next. Because

Brad Miller:

obviously, you can't do things exactly the way

Brad Miller:

you did them before. You already mentioned

Brad Miller:

just some of the household duties. So laundry

Brad Miller:

and other things like get your kids had to help,

Brad Miller:

whatever the situation was. But let's talk about

Brad Miller:

the actions that you took to get yourself to a

Brad Miller:

better place or a new place, kind of emotionally

Brad Miller:

and spiritually, even physically, what are some

Brad Miller:

of the things that you did? What were some

Brad Miller:

of the things you did to do go these next

Wendy Wallace:

The next steps were to try and figure out why

Wendy Wallace:

this had to happen. And so that was a lot of prayers,

Wendy Wallace:

and Bible study, either on my own or with our

Wendy Wallace:

church family. And I came to realize, and along

Wendy Wallace:

the way, I'm picking up pieces of clarity, I guess.

Wendy Wallace:

And I learned that things happen, not always

Wendy Wallace:

because of something that we have done, but

Wendy Wallace:

because God needs it needs to use it for whatever

Wendy Wallace:

his purpose is. And so that was the spiritual side

Wendy Wallace:

of thing. I've always been optimistic. And I've

Wendy Wallace:

always been thankful. So I always looked for blessings

Wendy Wallace:

in disguise, you know, it's always a silver lining.

Wendy Wallace:

In every dark cloud, I've always believed that.

Wendy Wallace:

And so counting my blessings on a daily basis

Wendy Wallace:

kept me in a fairly decent mindset, along

Wendy Wallace:

with daily conversations with the Lord.

Brad Miller:

When you say you're counting your blessings,

Brad Miller:

were you specific about that? What I mean

Brad Miller:

by that is where you, you know, just kind of

Brad Miller:

drills down, you know, I'm grateful, but by

Brad Miller:

counting your blessings indicates that you

Brad Miller:

almost had a checklist grateful for my husband,

Brad Miller:

or my friends, my church, folks, my family,

Brad Miller:

whatever it was, were you grateful on that kind of specific way.

Wendy Wallace:

I think when we are in a negative headspace,

Wendy Wallace:

we tend to focus on what we're focusing on.

Wendy Wallace:

So as long as I focused on positive things,

Wendy Wallace:

I was good. So you know, like, for instance,

Wendy Wallace:

what's to be thankful for today? Well, the

Wendy Wallace:

sun is out. We got rain the other night, I know

Wendy Wallace:

you said you're struggling with the rain where

Wendy Wallace:

you are, but we got rain garden is growing.

Wendy Wallace:

And so just, it's, it's beyond that I'm thankful

Wendy Wallace:

for I survived, and my family and I've got

Wendy Wallace:

people to care for me and somebody to do

Wendy Wallace:

the laundry, it's beyond that. It's just finding

Wendy Wallace:

just more things. It's stretching that gratitude muscle.

Brad Miller:

I love that stretching that gratitude muscle.

Brad Miller:

Because you know, the the opposite is probably

Brad Miller:

more common. What I mean by the opposite

Brad Miller:

is, people just kind of say no whining, or why

Brad Miller:

me or kind of spiral into a bad place, you know,

Brad Miller:

emotionally or spiritually or in their relationships

Brad Miller:

are impacted, or they get kind of stuck in where

Brad Miller:

they're at. And that's often the case, and you chose

Brad Miller:

to do something different. By having you know,

Brad Miller:

this added your attitude of gratitude, and by seeing

Brad Miller:

what you had, instead of what you didn't have.

Brad Miller:

And then that's awesome. Let's go a little bit

Brad Miller:

deeper Wendy about the I call it the connection

Brad Miller:

to higher power about your spiritual life or about

Brad Miller:

anything to do with how inner life then was manifested

Brad Miller:

in your outer life. It's also about the importance

Brad Miller:

of that, how did that change? Or did it change?

Brad Miller:

Or just how about your spiritual development

Brad Miller:

during this process that you mentioned you

Brad Miller:

didn't hate God, but where did where

Brad Miller:

did you go then? Where did you go?

Wendy Wallace:

I just I spent more time in the Bible. And I

Wendy Wallace:

found so many promises of God, that I will

Wendy Wallace:

never leave you and forsake you. And I am

Wendy Wallace:

always there for you. And faith is Something

Wendy Wallace:

that people Oh, that's all great, you got your faith,

Wendy Wallace:

yada, yada, whatever that means, right? Well,

Wendy Wallace:

faith isn't. It doesn't heal you. But it gives you

Wendy Wallace:

the courage and the strength to get through

Wendy Wallace:

the hard times. I spent a lot of time studying

Wendy Wallace:

and wanting to get to know the Lord more,

Wendy Wallace:

because let's face it, without his guidance,

Wendy Wallace:

I had nothing, no place else to go. So, you know,

Wendy Wallace:

when we have struggles in our lives, we can

Wendy Wallace:

either do it with him or we can do it without him.

Wendy Wallace:

So I chose to go with him. And in the process,

Wendy Wallace:

my faith just got stronger. So in any type of

Wendy Wallace:

struggle, whether it's, you know, a big old bill

Wendy Wallace:

coming up, that's a little overwhelming or

Wendy Wallace:

whatever. That's my go-to, is to lean on Lord

Wendy Wallace:

and just know that through all things,

Wendy Wallace:

because remember, I, I've chosen to trust Him,

Wendy Wallace:

not lean on my own understanding and why,

Wendy Wallace:

you know, I was never going to figure this

Wendy Wallace:

out on my own, but to lean on him

Wendy Wallace:

and then he would direct my paths.