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Woman left with horrifying consequences after leaving tampon in for too long

Woman left with horrifying consequences after leaving tampon in for too long

Lauren Wasser was found unresponsive after using a tampon, and she's since issued an important warning

An LA-based model who lost both of her legs due to a rare illness spurred on by using a tampon has opened up about her heartbreaking ordeal.

As a woman, learning about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is one of those experiences you never forget.

Lauren Wasser was just 24 when she contracted the life-threatening disease in 2012.

The NHS states that TSS 'can happen when using a tampon or menstrual cup, or from an infected wound.'

Lauren was found facedown and unresponsive in her home in 2012. (Instagram/@theimpossiblemuse)
Lauren was found facedown and unresponsive in her home in 2012. (Instagram/@theimpossiblemuse)

What is toxic shock syndrome?

TSS is a rare and life-threatening condition spurred on from a complication of an infection.

It can affect anyone of any age - including men and children - and it's thought to be brought on by the toxins produced by certain bacteria such as staph and strep.

What causes toxic shock syndrome?

According to the NHS, TSS can be contracted from:

  • using tampons or menstrual cups
  • using a contraceptive diaphragm or cap
  • after a vaginal birth or caesarean section
  • from a cut, wound, boil or burn that has become infected

What are the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome?

Symptoms of TSS come on very quickly, and can include:

  • a high temperature
  • muscle aches
  • a raised skin rash that feels like sandpaper
  • flu-like symptoms

Lauren, who is now 36, uses her platform to urge people to learn about the danger of tampons.

"It's lethal, it's dangerous"

Speaking to Life Uncut podcast, Lauren said: "We're putting that inside of us at such a delicate time and it creates a perfect storm. It takes one of those toxins to get inside your body and start acting like the flu and shutting down your organs, it's lethal, it's dangerous.

"It's my goal and life mission to make sure that not only is this information out there but women have these conversations amongst each other, create the dialogue and check in with each other because knowledge is key."

Lauren also suffered kidney failure and two heart attacks. (Instagram/@theimpossiblemuse)
Lauren also suffered kidney failure and two heart attacks. (Instagram/@theimpossiblemuse)

Lauren's nightmare began when she was found facedown and unresponsive in her home, having succumbed to a fever of almost 42 degrees.

She then suffered kidney failure and had two heart attacks.

Incredibly, Lauren was given just a one percent chance of survival.

She was placed into a medically-induced coma and after a week, she finally woke up.

An infectious disease doctor then examined her to see if she had a tampon in. Upon their discovery, she was diagnosed with TSS.

"My feet were on fire"

Sadly, Lauren's legs had turned black with gangrene and her right leg had to be amputated.

Speaking to Diary Of A CEO podcast last year, Lauren further opened up on her ordeal.

Lauren opened up about the terrifying ordeal. (Instagram/@theimpossiblemuse)
Lauren opened up about the terrifying ordeal. (Instagram/@theimpossiblemuse)

She said: "My feet were on fire, it was like someone was lighting my foot on fire, the burning sensation was insane.

“My right leg was worse than my left, my toes on my left were turning purple but my right side, there was a lot more damage, you could tell.

“So then the concern came in that basically they needed to amputate my right leg to save my life or I was going to die.”

Lauren continued: "I remember looking around and thinking, ‘Is she talking about me, she's saying I am an amputation?'

"And I just started screaming, I was screaming for my mother, my godfather, I was screaming for everyone, saying; ‘Do not let this person touch me'.

“I was unaware of the severity of the situation for myself. That was the first time I heard the word amputation.”

After six years with one leg, Lauren opted to have her left leg amputated too due to how much pain she was in.

A quick look at Lauren's Instagram proves she has turned her trauma into strength.

As well as bringing awareness to the masses, she has also graced many magazine front covers.

Just last year, she was Woman Of The Year for Glamour Germany and Harper's Bazaar.

Featured Image Credit: TiKTok/@steven/Instagram/@theimpossiblemuse

Topics: True Life, Health