MOTHER WARRIORS: From left, McCarthy, Jorge and Winfrey
Monica Sprague Jorge was transferred to the MGH in August 2007 with a devastating case of necrotizing faciitis – also known as flesh-eating bacteria. Her health had begun to decline drastically soon after delivering her second daughter. To save her life, doctors performed more than 30 surgeries, including procedures that would change her life forever – the amputation of all four of her limbs which had been damaged by the infection. As Jorge battled for her life, she won the hearts of her caregivers with her courageous spirit and determination to return home to her daughters and husband.
This week, millions of people bore witness to Jorge's sparkling personality on national television. With her husband, Tony, at her side, Jorge received a standing ovation as she walked onto the stage of the "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Actress Jenny McCarthy, the mother of an autistic boy, also appeared on the program called "Mother Warriors" that aired Sept. 24. McCarthy and Jorge both shared their own parenting challenges and successes.
"My strength comes from my family, my friends and the whole support system from the community to the support at the MGH and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital," Jorge told Oprah and her audience.
A two-part series in the Boston Globe Magazine brought Jorge's story of perseverance and mothering to light earlier this year. Several MGH caregivers participated in that story and continue to stay in touch with Jorge and her family.