GP’s receptionist, 25, has leg and all her toes amputated after hot tub party with friends gave her deadly blood infection
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Lauren Briggs, 25, spent an evening in hot tub
- Miss Briggs woke up next day unable to breath and was rushed to hospital
- There, she was diagnosed with blood infection meningococcal septicaemia
- Her right leg was amputated below knee, as were the toes on her left leg
- Ms Briggs was then told by doctors that the hot tub could have been the cause
A GP’s receptionist had to have her leg and all her toes amputated after a hot tub party gave her a deadly blood infection.
Lauren Briggs, 25, from Corringham, Essex, spent an evening having fun with her friends in a hot tub in January this year.
But she woke up the next day unable to breath and was rushed to hospital.
There, she was diagnosed with life-threatening blood infection meningococcal septicaemia.
While doctors were able to save her life, Ms Briggs had to undergo an amputation of her right leg below the knee and the toes on her left leg – leaving her wheelchair bound.
Medics then told Ms Briggs that the hot tub could have been the cause of her infection.
She said she was ‘devastated’ after lifting up her hospital bed covers to see her amputated leg – and now feels ‘trapped’ in her own body.
Lauren Briggs, 25, (left) from Corringham, Essex, spent an evening having fun with her friends in a hot tub in January this year. But she woke up the next day unable to breath and was rushed to hospital. She had to have her leg and all her toes amputated (right)
Medics told Ms Briggs that the hot tub (pictured left, in the hot tub with her friend) could have been the cause of her infection
Miss Briggs (left, in hospital) was diagnosed with life-threatening blood infection meningococcal septicaemia. She had her leg amputated (right)
Miss Briggs (left, before her illness, and right, during her stay in hospital) said she was ‘devastated’ after lifting up her hospital bed covers to see her amputated leg – and now feels ‘trapped’ in her own body
WHAT IS MENINGOCOCCAL SEPTICAEMIA?
Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Anyone can be affected but at-risk people include those aged under five, 15-to-24 and above the age of 45.
People exposed to passive smoking or with suppressed immune systems, such as patients undergoing chemotherapy, are also more at risk.
The most common forms of meningitis are bacterial and viral.
Bacterial meningitis requires urgent treatment at hospital with antibiotics.
Some 10 percent of bacterial cases are fatal.
Of those who survive, one in three suffer complications, including brain damage and hearing loss.
Meningococcal septicemia – a type of meningitis bacteria – can cause septicemia.
The bacteria multiplies after entering the blood stream. This damages the walls of the blood vessels which, in turn, causes bleeding to the skin and organs.
- Fever and chills
- Cold hands and feet
- Severe aches or pain
- Dark purple rash
She explained: ‘The night before, I had been in my friend’s hot tub and doctors told me I may have contracted the infection through a small cut on my foot whilst in the hot tub.
‘Hot tubs are filled with bacteria so it’s likely that could have been the cause.
‘I went to sleep that night feeling a bit nauseous but my friend found me in the early hours of the next morning gasping for breath on the floor.
‘The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital wondering what was going on.
‘I was put on life support and was completely dependent on the machines for 48 hours.
‘My feet were jet black; they did multiple skin grafts from my left thigh to rebuild my feet but in the end, they couldn’t save my right leg or toes and they had to be amputated to save my life’.
Her mother, Tracey, 58, added: ‘I went straight to the hospital when I found out what had happened and when I arrived, I didn’t recognise my own daughter because she was so swollen and blue.
‘I thought they had taken me to the wrong window.
‘When I saw her I fell to the floor and begged God to save her and not to let her go.
‘She’s my only child – she’s my baby and doctors told me it was unlikely she would survive longer than 48 hours.
‘They would regularly take Lauren down to theatre to clean the feet up and check everything and on this one particular day, she was in there all day and I knew something must have been happening.
‘When I found out about the amputations, I dropped down on the floor again because I knew how this would impact her quality of life.’
Miss Briggs was discharged on April 30 and her life changed completely.
She used to live at home with her mother, but Miss Briggs now needs to stay in specialist accommodation that can cater for her wheelchair.
She is currently fundraising after being left unable to work as a GP receptionist due to her condition. Her illness left her with a severe speech impairment.
Miss Briggs added: ‘I had no idea about the amputations because I felt like I still had both my feet – I lifted the covers up and saw and was devastated.
Miss Briggs (her legs after the amputations, pictured) was discharged on April 30 and her life changed completely
She used to live at home with her mother, but Miss Briggs (pictured in her chair, left, and right) now needs to stay in specialist accommodation that can cater for her wheelchair
The damage caused to Miss Briggs’ foot by life-threatening blood infection meningococcal septicaemia
‘I’m currently staying in a mother and baby hostel because they couldn’t find anywhere else for me to stay.
‘I just want to live a life as normal as possible; I haven’t even got a prosthetic leg yet.
‘I was always on the go before this, hardly ever sitting down and now I have to rely on people to do anything.
‘It feels like I’m trapped inside my own body and I just want to get out.
‘It has affected my mental health drastically; my life has been turned upside down.
‘Doctors think there was a small cut on my foot that caused the meningitis.
‘I wasn’t aware of it but I went in my friend’s hot tub that night and that holds a lot of bacteria.’
To donate to Miss Briggs’ fundraiser to help adapt her home for her wheelchair, click here.
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