GA teen graduates year after limbs amputated when strep throat sent her into septic shock

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — A Coweta County teen is marking one year since her life changed.

Natalya Manhertz had strep throat but went into septic shock, and had all four limbs amputated.

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“I had a sore throat and I get them, not often but here and there,” said Manhertz.

It was May 2023 in the final days of her junior year of high school when she fell ill and was getting worse.

“That morning when I woke up, I knew something was wrong,” said Nat. “I don’t remember even stepping foot into the emergency room.”

Manhertz was life-flighted to Children’s Egleston. She tested positive for strep but also had low blood pressure, her organs were failing, and she had gone into septic shock and then cardiac arrest.

“I woke up literally a month later,” said Nat.

When she woke up, her legs had been amputated. And soon her arms would also be gone.

“I do have my days. Every day is not easy,” said Manhertz.

But Nat was determined.

She left the hospital in October and was on a mission to get back to school and finish her senior year.

A few months ago, she was crowned prom queen at Trinity Christian School. And earlier this month, a year and six days after falling ill, she graduated.

She attributes her success to her loving family, especially her mom, her friends and community.


“People will come up to me and be like ‘oh my gosh you don’t know me, but I know you I’ve been praying for you’.”

She also said part of her recovery has been the nurses and doctors at Children’s Egleston who’ve become family. They even threw her a second graduation party.

Nat is still learning to use the new hand prosthetics she received in the past week. And she is ready to take on her goals of public speaking and inspiring others.

“I still have a lot of life to live. I’ve been given a second chance at life,” said Nat. “Don’t lose hope and faith in yourself.”

Nat said she will next get her leg prosthesis. And eventually she will join her friends in college.

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