A British woman who suffered serious health problems and failing organs was only hours away from death, all because of a condition caused by a tampon.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, Doncaster, England, resident Joanna Cartwright was 25 when she was rushed to the hospital with what she initially thought was the flu. Instead, what she had was toxic shock syndrome.
Cartwright was taken to the hospital by her mother and partner after she was having trouble breathing and slipping in and out of consciousness.
“The last thing I remember is being in the car racing towards the hospital,” Cartwright said.
“My internal organs were shutting down so I was put on life support, and put into a medically induced coma. My hands had swollen, about eight layers of skin peeled off, I lost about 50 per cent of my hair, and all my nails fell off — I must have looked horrendous.”
Cartwright before and after the toxic shock syndrome.
“It’s very strange to wake up and not know who you are or where you are,” the mother of three said. “I tried to speak, but by the time I’d got to the end of a sentence I couldn’t remember why I’d started it. Even now, people will mention things to me — something I’ve done, or somewhere I went — and I don’t know what they’re talking about.
“I was so confused and disorientated — I even thought my brother was my boyfriend. I ended up discharging myself because I felt so unsure of everything. It wasn’t until two days later when I called the doctors for a follow-up that they told me I had suffered from toxic shock syndrome along with meningococcal septicaemia.”
In addition to her organs shutting down and being put in a coma, and losing her hair, nails and skin, she also lost the ability to walk. She had to put in intense therapy to relearn how to take steps. She also lost a good chunk of her memory — all because of a tampon.
“People were pointing at the girls and asking me to name them, but I didn’t know,” Cartwright said.
“I knew I recognized them but I just couldn’t place them. I was put in the coma on my 25th birthday so when I woke up I was surrounded by birthday cards. A nurse was reading the cards out to me but I didn’t know any of the names — I didn’t even realize it had been my birthday. All I really knew was that I was very poorly, and I thought I was going to die.”
Europe is under siege now with health scares because of the influx of migrants from the Middle East. And accidents that cause memory loss, of course, could happen to anybody. But Cartwright was almost killed by one of the most common features of life for modern women.
“It’s been a really traumatic experience, and I know there are parts of me that will never be the same again,” Cartwright said. “But I’m just relieved that I made it through and my girls have still got their mum — I count myself very lucky.”
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H/T Opposing Views