We might all have experienced two or more occurrences of strep throat and we usually just do nothing but wait for it to clear. However, a woman from Tennessee could have never imagined that a sore throat would lead to the amputation of her six fingers and two toes, and even almost took her life.
Shelby Smith, 27, caught a strep throat but did not think of it seriously. Later on, her condition quickly deteriorated, with Smith convulsing and her lips turning blue. Little did she know that she had gone into a septic shock, a very lethal complication of staph infection.
This was Shelby before her gruesome ordeal led her to the loss of some of her fingers and toes.
She was rushed into the hospital and was put into a medically induced coma to prevent further complications. However, when she woke up her hand looked ‘like something from a horror movie.’
She was taken to the hospital via an ambulance when she started convulsing.
In order to save Smith’s life, she was put into a medication that diverted blood circulation towards her vital organs. However, the adverse effect was cutting off blood circulation to her extremities.
Unfortunately, the treatment cut off circulation to her extremities which resulted to the amputation of her six fingers and two toes.
‘This is one of the most life-threatening illnesses we see as far as a bacterial infection,’ Dr. Jeffry King, an infections disease specialist who treated Smith, told WATE. ‘These cases are very rare; there are only a few hundred a year.’
The doctors were left with no choice but amputate all of Smith’s fingers on her right hand and her left index finger. They also cut off the two toes on her left foot.
Unfortunately, the young woman does not have health insurance, thus her family considers setting up a GoFundMe campaign to help with her medical bills.
Despite the ordeal, Smith, who was engaged to be married since January, stays positive.
‘I can either buckle under the pressure,’ she said, ‘or I can pick myself up and move on and just make a new normal.’
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Streptococcal pharyngitis is a common bacteria that infects the back of the throat. The disease is commonly diagnosed and spread through coughs and sneezes. The usual treatment for it is with antibiotics. However, life-threatening complications such as meningitis, pneumonia and septic shock can sometimes occur.