Model Lauren Wasser has spoken out about having her right leg amputated due to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), contracted from a tampon.
The 28-year-old lost her right leg in 2012 and since then she has been lucky enough to continue modeling and has become an avid campaigner about teaching girls the dangers of TSS.
When Wasser was 24, her day started like any other. She had her period and ran out of tampons, so ran to the store to buy some. Wasser returned to her apartment, changed her tampon and laid in bed texting friends about their upcoming plans that night.
Starting to feel unwell, Wasser describes to Style Like U: 'I was deciding if I was even going to make it because I was feeling worse and worse as the day went on. Just flu-like symptoms, I was feeling nauseous and my head was pounding.'
Wasser attended a party with friends, but quickly decided she was too unwell and went back home.
'The next thing I remember was my blind Cocker Spaniel barking and pounding on my chest,' she recalls. 'I came to and I could just hear pounding on the door and someone saying ‘police, police, open up’.
'I was so confused and thinking ‘why are the police here’. The police officer came in and he told me I really needed to call my mum because she is really worried about me.'
Wasser continued, 'My mum never heard from me, she called for another while to check, called all my girlfriends to go to my apartment and was in her way.
'She called the police and they came round, it took them 30 minutes to get through my front door and then found me on my bedroom floor face down.
'I had a 107F fever, my kidneys were failing, I had a heart attack.
'Thank god there was an infectious disease doctor there [at the hospital] because as soon as they found me I was plummeting so bad they couldn’t understand why a healthy, young 24-year-old like me was dying.
'They called the specialist down and he checked if I had a tampon in. As soon as they located it got sent to the lab and it came back as TSS and as soon as they removed it I started being more receptive to treatment.
'They were telling my mum and my godfather to start preparing my funeral because there was no way I was walking out of there — it would have been a miracle'
Wasser was then placed in a medically induced coma, and was given multiple blood transfusions and was pumped full of fluids to flush out as many toxins as possible.
It was then Lauren overheard a nurse speaking to someone on the telephone, that she learned her right leg was going to be amputated.
'I remember her speaking to someone saying ‘I have a 24-year-old girl here who is going to need a right leg below the knee amputation,' Wasser reflects. 'I knew my legs were not good but I just couldn’t ... hearing those words come out of her mouth and being by myself, it was so surreal.
'I just kept crying and screaming and wanting my mum.
'It was f****** hell,' she finishes.
Since the horrific incident four years ago, Wasser has received several modeling campaigns with her gold, prosthetic leg. She is also an avid campaigner for more research on the use of tampons and the potential dangers they pose for women.