Multiple amputee returns to Hub City to thank doctors - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Multiple amputee returns to Hub City to thank doctors

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Multiple amputee Merlyna Valentine visits with her surgeon, Dr. Rocco Barbieri (right) and her husband, Tory, in Hattiesburg Tuesday. Multiple amputee Merlyna Valentine visits with her surgeon, Dr. Rocco Barbieri (right) and her husband, Tory, in Hattiesburg Tuesday.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A Louisiana woman who received life-altering surgery in Hattiesburg and whose story has been featured on NBC's The Today Show visited the Hub City Tuesday to reconnect with the physician who helped her. Merlyna Valentine and her husband, Tory, received a warm welcome from Dr. Rocco Barbieri and the staff at Southern Bone and Joint.

Nearly four years ago, Valentine underwent a series of surgeries at the facility which resulted in the amputation of her feet and hands. The procedures were necessary after she developed septic shock following a kidney stone infection in Louisiana.   

Valentine is principal of an elementary school in St. Charles Parish and was married last year.

"I had not been back to actually share the new me with them and to let them see me walk through the doors and actually just say thank you for all that they've done for me to get me to this point," said Valentine.

"What I always try and tell (patients) is anyone can be a great person when things are going well, it's the true character of a person how they react when things are going against them," said Dr. Barbieri. "So, Miss Merlyna has great character," he said.

Valentine was also fitted with her prosthetics in Mississippi.

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