Tory MP Craig Mackinlay reveals his hands and feet have been amputated due to sepsis

<span>Craig Mackinlay says he now wants to be known as the first ‘bionic MP’, after he was fitted with prosthetic legs and hands.</span><span>Photograph: Isabella Allen/BBC News</span>
Craig Mackinlay says he now wants to be known as the first ‘bionic MP’, after he was fitted with prosthetic legs and hands.Photograph: Isabella Allen/BBC News

The Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay has revealed that he had both his hands and feet amputated last year due to sepsis.

Mackinlay, who will return to public life on Wednesday for the first time since the ordeal, was taken to hospital last September and diagnosed with sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to an infection that occurs when the immune system overreacts and starts to damage the body’s own tissues and organs.

The MP for South Thanet recorded a video from his hospital bed and said: “The grim reaper has let me survive, but he’s taken his payment in four of my limbs,” the Daily Telegraph reported.

He told the newspaper he went into septic shock, which resulted in kidney and liver failure, blood clots forming and his limbs turning black.

The 57-year-old said his toes and fingers became “desiccated” and curled up so they appeared as if they belonged to a “mummified Pharaoh”. At one stage, his chances of survival were 5% at best.

After the quadruple amputation last December, he was fitted with prosthetic legs and hands.

The MP was given hard rubber stumps to replace his hands, which he says were “good for fighting and smashing windows but not much else”. His replacement prosthetic hands, which the newspaper says cost £100,000 through a private company, are “amazing … but it’s never going to be quite the same. The hands are a real loss.”

On Wednesday, he will make his first trip to Westminster for prime minister’s questions with his wife, Kati, and four-year-old daughter watching from the public gallery.

Mackinlay said he wants to be known as the first “bionic MP”.

He said: “I am lucky. I’ve got my knees and my elbows, which makes a big difference.”

Mackinlay’s ordeal began on 27 September last year when he began feeling unwell. During the night he was violently sick and his wife, who is a pharmacist, began to get worried and tested his blood pressure and temperature. By the morning, she noticed that her husband’s arms felt cold and she could not feel a pulse.

Mackinlay believes his wife saved his life by insisting to paramedics that he be taken to Medway Maritime hospital.

“The paramedics were reluctant to take me in,” he said. “They thought I should go and see my GP. I could have gone back to sleep. And I would have died I suppose.

“After a bit of remonstration they agreed [to take me]. No doubt at all Kati saved my life. If we had got there two hours later I would have been dead.”

After going into septic shock, the MP was put into an induced coma that would last for 16 days.

He added: “I was in the triage area and I was all perfectly OK and lucid, and then I went literally a bright blue as the sepsis shock started.”

Kati Mackinlay said staff described her husband as “one of the illest people they’d ever seen”.

“They told me to prepare for the worst,” she said.

“But I never left the hospital saying goodbye. I didn’t want to accept it.”

At his wife’s insistence, Mackinlay was then transported from his local hospital to St Thomas’ in central London to seek a second opinion.

On his quadruple amputation, he said: “They did it all in one hit, on one day.

“Now I could see over that month that these limbs were finished. The blackness was increasing and the fingers were like something out of Peat Bog Man. Or some Pharaoh dug out of the desert.

“They were all desiccated, clenched and drying. They are part of you but they don’t look like part of you. Like a sort of Pharaoh’s finger getting smaller and more dry by the day.”

The MP said his daughter Olivia has adapted to the situation “very easily”. “Probably better than anybody else frankly. I think children are just so remarkably adjustable.”

Mackinlay has nicknamed one of his prosthetic legs Albert after the dummy used by war camp prisoners in the 1950s film, Albert R.N.

He plans to stand at the next election in his Kent constituency due to be renamed Thanet East.

Mackinlay told the BBC: “When children come to parliament’s fantastic education centre I want them to be pulling their parents’ jacket or skirts or their teacher and saying: ‘I want to see the bionic MP today’.”