WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Former national gymnast was diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome that had her arms and legs amputated.
- A fatal condition, toxic shock syndrome is a result of Streptococcus A infection that enters the body and kills tissue.
- Characteristics of the infection include symptoms similar to flu and coupled with diarrhea, dizziness and body rashes, and others.
A former gymnast thought she had the flu. But days later, she has two of her limbs partly amputated and is now fighting for her life.
When 30-year-old Anna Norquist of St. Joseph County, Indiana visited St. Joseph Health System Mishawaka Medical Center on the first Friday of December, she felt like she was having flu, according to WNDU 16 reports.
However, she was later diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome by doctors at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, which is a result of an infection from Streptococcus A.
Toxic shock syndrome is a potentially fatal condition that is triggered by bacterial toxins that enter the body and can kill tissue. Flu-like symptoms that include sore muscles, sore throat and headaches are usually experienced by sufferers. Nausea as well as diarrhea, a rash on the body that resembles a sunburn, and a temperature of 102.2F or above, is typically associated with the infection. In addition, red eyes, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, and difficulty in breathing are also characteristic of the syndrome.
Once symptoms set in, a rapid spread of the infection across the body occurs. Although the condition can be treated with antibiotics, surgery to remove the dead tissue caused by infection must be performed in severe cases like Norquist’s.
While the condition is mostly a disease of menstruating women who use tampons incorrectly, such wasn’t the case for Norquist, reported WNDU 16. Although not certain, but doctors believe the streptococcus A bacteria entered her body via her right arm which may be why it deteriorated first.
Since then, Norquist had 10 surgeries. After her right arm was removed, surgeons amputated her left leg on Wednesday. On Friday, she is due to have her left hand removed.
Her father, Gordon told Fox 59 that Norquist’s doctors said she could be hospitalized for up to six months. “This is going to be a shock for her and a real adjustment,” said Gordon.
Updates on Anna’s condition has been continuously shared by her brother Patrick on Facebook. He confirmed that her sister was in a stable condition but was “in a lot of pain” following her surgery on Wednesday. However, their family is relieved that doctors were able to retain her knee joint which is essential for mobility.
‘Please continue to pray for our Anna. She is the strongest woman I know,” wrote Patrick. Anna competed in national gymnastics and has also taught gymnastics.