Mom Lost a Finger and Almost Died After Cat Scratch Infected Her With Flesh-Eating Bug

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
July 24, 2019 Updated: July 24, 2019


Cats can be adorable, but did you know a bite and scratch by a feline can sometimes be fatal? It can cause serious bacterial infections such as cat-scratch disease, MRSA bacteria, and rabies. A mom from Glasgow, Scotland, lost a finger and nearly died after being scratched by a stray cat.

Recently, Moira Brady, 45, had her arm scratched by a stray cat that was involved in a cat fight with another feline on the trampoline in her garden. One of the stray cats attacked her with its claw as she attempted to break up the fight and shoo them away.

Though the scratch punctured her skin, she didn’t think much about it until days later when one of her fingers turned blue and her hand became swollen.

Brady eventually consulted the doctors about a week after the incident. And thankfully she did. Doctors told her she was infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and Streptococcus A.

According to eMedicineHealth, MRSA is so antibiotic resistant (drug resistant) that it is termed a “superbug” by some investigators. Due to its ability to destroy skin, it has also been labeled as a “flesh-eating bacterium.”

“They asked me if I had been near animals,” said Brady, who has two daughters, in an interview with Evening Times.

To stop the lethal bacterial infection from spreading, a finger from Brady’s left hand had to be amputated. Battling the infection, she spent a month in Glasgow Royal Infirmary to undergo two skin grafts and a blood transfusion.

“The infection went right through my body,” Brady said. “The surgeon stayed five and a half hours after his shift to save my life and I had to have a blood transfusion.”

The ordeal has “ruined” her life, and now she “can’t do everyday things now like taking food out of the oven.” Worse still, Brady will need to go through more surgery in the future.

Doctors told her she “was very lucky” to have survived. Brady could have lost her life and her limb. “The doctors had to take half of my finger off and then took the rest of it off,” she said. “They said I could have died or lost my whole hand.”

Her kidneys have also begun to shut down, so if she had delayed treatment, the deadly infection might cause her kidneys to shut down completely. She could even die from toxic shock syndrome.

“The amount of people I’ve spoken to who couldn’t believe this happened after getting a cat scratch,” Brady said.

Absolutely terrifying.

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Cat scratches from domestic cats are typically minor and usually can be treated at home with first aid treatment. However, if the feline’s bite breaks the skin, it’s advisable “to seek medical attention as the area could become infected,” Dr. Emilia Crighton, consultant in Public Health and Head of Health Services Section, NHSGGC, told Evening Times.

“Your own GP or local pharmacy would be the first, easy to reach, point of contact,” Dr. Crighton added.

Not to worry though—MRSA infections are not common in dogs and cats, as stated on Vetstreet website. The bacteria can be transmitted to humans from infected pets, either by direct contact with the infected area or contaminated items, for example, bedding. An animal colonized by MRSA often carries the bacteria around the nose and anus, so after touching pets or picking up feces, it’s advisable to wash and sanitize your hands.