I don’t believe this! How can anyone forget to remove a tampon for NINE days?
Emily Pankhurst, 20, felt she was feeling bloated and under the weather as actually suffering from deadly toxic shock syndrome after forgetting to remove a tampon for nine days.Emily, a student, ignored her symptoms as she was busy studying for her final university exams. But one day she realised she had accidentally left a tampon in for more than a week, which was entirely black when she removed it.
A few hours later she became faint, began to slur her words and her skin became mottled, so her mother immediately called an ambulance. In intensive care, doctors said she was suffering blood poisoning as a result of toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening infection caused by the tampon.
They gave her antibiotics and managed to save her life – but Emily temporarily lost her mobility and is still unable to walk long distances.
Describing the moment she realised she had left a tampon in for nine days, she said: ‘When I finally realised, I pulled it out it was pure black.
‘I wouldn’t have known what it was apart from the string. It was horrible. I immediately chucked it in the loo, I felt sick.’
Miss Pankhurst, who is studying criminology at the University of Canterbury, originally inserted the tampon during her period last month.
But due to the stress of her upcoming exams, she forgot to remove it – and inserted another one instead.
After a few days she began to suffer bloody discharge and a bloated stomach, and then started to feel hot and unwell.
Her mother Diana urged her to go to the doctor, who took tests but couldn’t find anything wrong.
Miss Pankhurst said: ‘I was feeling really ill by that stage. I was hot and dizzy and felt really strange.
‘I was bleeding more and my mum suggested I feel about and see if there was anything there.’
After a shower Emily managed to find the errant tampon that was still inside her.
‘I thought it was disgusting to be honest,’ she said. ‘But I also thought once I’d removed it, I would feel better.’
However, her mother– having heard about toxic shock syndrome – recommended she call the NHS helpline.
An adviser told her to monitor how she felt – but within a few hours her condition had deteriorated.
Miss Pankhurst said: ‘I was sat in the dark. I can’t remember much, but mum said I kept repeating, “I feel ill – my stomach”.
‘My speech slurred and my skin became mottled. I started to feel faint and I was rushed to hospital by ambulance.
‘During the journey they said I was displaying all the symptoms of sepsis [blood poisoning] and so the blue lights were put on. I became an emergency case.
‘I know now that was the poison entering my blood stream.’
At Maidstone Hospital she was transferred to intensive care, where doctors said she had toxic shock syndrome.
The rare but life-threatening bacterial infection is caused by bacteria that normally live harmlessly on the skin, nose or mouth.
But they can invade the body’s bloodstream, where they release poisonous toxins.
The toxins damage tissue, including skin and organs, and can disturb many vital organ functions.
TSS is a therefore a medical emergency and sufferers must seek help immediately.
For three days, 12 different types of antibiotics were intravenously fed into her.
‘I was also fed through a tube,’ she said. ‘My bladder was full – I had two litres of urine in me – but I couldn’t go to the toilet naturally and was given a catheter.
‘I’ve never been in pain like it so was given morphine and doctors said if I had left it any longer I would be dead.’
Doctors asked her when she had last been to the toilet and she realised she couldn’t remember.
She said: ‘I was stressed about my exams and really wanted to do well on my degree, it didn’t register that I was ill.’
After three days Miss Pankhurst was well enough to be moved to a normal ward.
But the infection had left her unable to walk.
‘I could barely move,’ she said. ‘I had to hobble using a Zimmer frame. I was just exhausted.’
After recovering, she says her mother ‘saved’ her by urging her to go to the doctor when she was well.
‘I put my illness down to stress and ignored the symptoms,’ she said. ‘But mum knew it was something more and pushed me to feel better. She saved my life.’
‘I blamed deadlines, returning to uni after the New Year and exams. Actually I was seriously ill.’
She also thanked her boyfriend Connor Kiefer, 22, who has been ‘amazing’ during her recovery.
‘He really helped me,’ she said. ‘He carries me upstairs and his family are like my second family.
‘My university have been great too. They have let me do reduced hours.’
Now, she is trying to recover but still finds herself becoming exhausted easily.
Now, she has decided to share her story in a bid to raise awareness to toxic shock syndrome, in the hope other girls will recognise the symptoms.
Culled from Dailymail