20-year-old Layane Dias has been left in a wheelchair for life after getting her nose pierced.
The Brazilian girl said the piercing became swollen and bled at the time but thought it was natural. It turned out she was suffering from a bacterial infection that led to a fever.
After the spot disappeared, she began to feel severe pain in her legs. The pain developed into a numbness feeling in her whole body, preventing her from standing properly and walking.
Doctors found it difficult to give an accurate diagnosis until they discovered ‘Staphylococcus aureus’ bacteria in her bloodstream.
Ms. Dias was asked if she had any cuts and revealed she had piercing several weeks before. Because of the severity of her condition, she was transferred to the Hospital Institute de Base in the Brazilian capital Brasilia.
MRI scan showed she had 500 milliliters of pus compressing three vertebrae of her spinal cord.
‘I thought it was a spot, but it caused a fever. I treated it myself, I put creams on it and a week later it disappeared,’ she expressed. ‘I could not feel anything from the breasts down.’
She underwent emergency surgery and Oswaldo Ribeiro Marquez, the neurosurgeon responsible, told BBC Brazil that he had never seen that kind of bacterial infection in his entire medical career.
He was able to stop the infection from spreading but Ms. Dias has been left in a wheelchair.
‘The pus could have caused an infection which may have been fatal. When the liquid was removed, her marrow decompressed and this prevented her condition from worsening,’ Marquez explained.
Ms. Dias said: ‘I was devastated. At the start, it was a very sad situation. My life changed a lot but I felt happy when I left the hospital as I was not there anymore.
‘I have met other young people in wheelchairs and I have seen that I can be happy like this [in a wheelchair]. Now I’m doing exercise like playing basketball and handball.’
That’s the spirit, girl!
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