Lauren Wasser, 24, nearly died from toxic shock, and lost her right leg and part of her left foot. Now, she might lose her left leg, she revealed.
Toxic Shock Syndrome is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, known as staph. It’s linked primarily to super-absorbant tampons, making headlines decades ago for causing deaths among young women.
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“Had I known toxic shock was real, and had I seen someone that had either lost limbs or spoke about it publicly, I would have never used tampons,” Wasser told People magazine.
“However, since manufacturers pulled certain types of tampons off the market, the incidence of toxic shock syndrome in menstruating women has declined,” says the Mayo Clinic on its website.
“Toxic shock syndrome can affect anyone, including men, children and postmenopausal women. Risk factors for toxic shock syndrome include skin wounds and surgery.”
Wasser said she’s still struggling with the effects of the syndrome after contracting it in 2012. She explained recently that she could lose her left leg as well.
“My left foot has an open ulcer, no heel, and no toes,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “I’m in daily excruciating pain.”
“In a few months, I’m inevitably going to have my other leg amputated. There’s nothing I can do about it. But what I can do is help make sure that this doesn’t happen to others,” she said.
“Toxic Shock Syndrome cost me my leg, but, years later, I have since dedicated myself to raising awareness about TSS prevention,” Wasser wrote or InStyle last month. “I want to educate women about the potential risks of using tampons. TSS has been killing and harming women for more than 30 years: let that sink in. How many lives is it going to take for something to change?”
— Hamilton Spectator (@TheSpec) December 19, 2017
Wasser has been working with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York to promote legislation that calls for the National Institutes of Health figure out whether certain parts of feminine hygiene products are safe, according to the Washington Post.
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