Mobile woman overcomes challenges of being a quadruple amputee and starts her own business

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Jackie McMillan runs a business from her home creating wooden flower arrangements. She combines her talented eye and creativity to run her business LOVE by JM despite the fact she is a quadruple amputee. Ten years ago, McMillan developed sepsis and spent 6 months in the hospital battling the infection that could have killed her. Doctors had to amputate her hands and legs to save her life.

“I mean, what can I do. They’re gone…they’re not gonna grow back so..why not flaunt it. It’s like hey…I can still do things.” She underwent rehabilitation and learned to walk with prosthetic legs. She would later become engaged and came up with the idea of making flowers for her wedding that would never wilt.

She takes plain wooden flowers and dyes them to make them look realistic. She also makes wooden flowers from scratch, all hands-free but with plenty of positivity, ingenuity, and determination.

“I just have a passion and I feel you can do anything if you put your mind to it.” McMillan molded a plastic handle for a knife to fit her wrist so she can cut materials. She alters simple utensils and tools to help spread her beauty from within.

“You know, this is me. Life is beautiful if you make it beautiful.”

During this year’s 31st Annual Jubilee of Arts Festival in Daphne, McMillan earned the Award of Distinction.

Jackie doesn’t know how she developed sepsis. She used to be a kitchen manager for a local restaurant, woke up with flu-like symptoms, went to the hospital and passed out.

For more information on sepsis, go to https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/index.html

For more information on her LOVE by JM go to https://www.facebook.com/handsfreecraftsmadewithlove/

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