Woman Shares Graphic Images Of Her Fingers Turning Black To Raise Awareness Of Meningitis
An amputee has shared pictures of her blackening fingers to warn about the dangers of meningococcal meningitis.
Juttima Chinnasri, 30, began suffering from flu-like symptoms such as a high fever, nausea and weakness while at work.
But the Sydney local didn't realise the severity of her illness until she woke up the next morning and spotted purple spots on her face, and noticed her symptoms had worsened.
When she eventually realised something was wrong, Juttima was rushed into intensive care and put on life support for a week.
But when she woke up, she noticed that her fingers and feet had turned black due to blood poisoning.
Juttima - who was first diagnosed in October 2018 - was then sent into surgery to have her fingers and feet removed after she learned that there was nothing the doctors could do to save her limbs.
"When I woke up and saw my black fingers and feet - I was shocked," she said.
"It was terrifying and I refused to accept that I had to have them amputated for days but eventually I realised that they couldn't be saved."
She had to spend three months in hospital, but what she found even harder was going home afterwards, and having to learn how to write and walk again using her prosthetic legs.
"Life has changed drastically since this happened - I had to learn to do everything again from walking to picking things up to simple things like going to the bathroom by myself," she added.
"I had to relearn how to write and I still struggle with picking up little things like coins and cotton tips, even doing up the buttons on my shirt.
"It took longer to learn how to use my prosthetic legs - I've only just started to walk with no crutches so it's taken my over a year.
"I couldn't do what I did before, you're in the same environment but you can't just walk anywhere.
"I started getting depressed, I caught it early and started working on my mental health and it got better."
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Now, having come out the other side, she hopes to inspire other amputees, and prove to them that she could still lead a normal life.
She does this by posting pictures on social media, and offering them hope that things can get better.
She said: "The photos I have shared are quite graphic but it shows the reality of meningitis and blood poisoning.
"I want to inspire other people. I wanted to hide my legs and wear long trousers at the start but it's not practical - I decided to learn to not care what people thought.
"I find it difficult to accept that my life has changed but I decided I'm going to live with this, I can't do anything about it so I have to accept it.
"Any day when I don't feel like putting my legs on, which happened a lot at the beginning because it's exhausting and uncomfortable, I always think back to the day I was in hospital and couldn't even lift my head up or sit up in bed without help.
"That put things into perspective - I can do almost anything and I can live quite a normal life once I learned to adapt".
Juttima also wants to raise awareness about what to look out for, to ensure that others don't miss the signs.
"The first symptom was just a high fever," she said. "I took some paracetamol because I wanted to keep on working.
"I went to the medical centre where they told me my temperature was 39 degrees celsius.
"I was too tired to go to the doctors so I just went home and got into bed.
"My dad walked in to check on me and he touched my arm and I had to pull back really quickly because the skin was so sensitive".
The next day, before heading to hospital, Juttima was vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea. She was also pale, and had bright purple spots all over her face.
"At that point, I couldn't walk and was crawling between the bedroom and bathroom," she recalls.
Even when rushing to hospital, she could have never predicted how much her life would change.
Reflecting on her meningitis journey, Juttima said: "This has changed my life but I hope to inspire other people and when I'm having a bad day, I always look back to when I was in hospital and my family were told that I might not make it and that motivates me to keep on going because I'm still here".
Juttima is hoping to inspire others through her TikTok and Instagram accounts.
Featured Image Credit: Caters