Year 5 Welcome Mrs Coster Back to Henlow Academy
18th December 2020
Caroline Coster, a Year 5 tutor at Henlow Academy, caught coronavirus in March. As she started to recover from Covid-19, she was diagnosed with a chest infection which developed into sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to infection which causes vital organs to shut down.
Caroline spent almost a month in a medically induced coma before pulling through. Unfortunately, because she had been unwell for so long, limited blood flow to her brain and vital organs had caused her hands and feet to turn black and die, and they had to be amputated.
Following on from her surgeries, Caroline attended the rehabilitation centre at Roehampton, where Caroline’s sheer determination had her walking on her new prosthetics within weeks and using her prosthetic hands to wash, dress and feed herself.
On 16 October, Caroline returned to Henlow Academy to be reunited with her form class. The emotional reunion also saw Caroline meet with pupils who had also spent time fundraising to help with adaptions to her home and equipment to enable Caroline to live an independent life.
Whilst Caroline has now retired from Henlow Academy, she intends to train her dog, Duke, as a therapy dog to bring into school as well as being part of Henlow Academy’s on-going charity work.
Caroline has described the last few months as ‘incredible’, saying:
“They have been incredible in so many ways. Life changing, of course, in terms of my illness and subsequent surgeries, but I have felt enveloped and supported by love – from family and friends; from colleagues, pupils, past pupils and parents at Henlow Academy where I have taught for the past 20 years; from colleagues in wider education; from complete strangers; from the wonderful staff at Bedford hospital and most of all from God.”
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