Mother disabled by staph infection after using friend's makeup brush

Jo Gilchrist's immune system was not able to fight the staph infection

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 07 April 2015 11:45 BST
Jo Gilchrist must use a wheelchair after a staph infection attacked her spine.
Jo Gilchrist must use a wheelchair after a staph infection attacked her spine. (Facebook/JoGilchrist )

A young Australian mother could not have imagined that fixing a spot on her face with her best friend’s make up brush could have likely caused her to contract an infection which has left her paralysed.

Jo Gilchrist, 27, who has a two-year-old son, believes the staphylococcus, or staph, bacteria entered her body and attacked her spine, after she used he friend’s makeup kit.

Medics at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane are still attempting to rid her body of the bacteria, almost three months after she became ill.

She must now spend the next three months in hospital, where she will be administered with strong antibiotics, her hometown newspaper the Warwick Daily News.

Staph bacteria are often found in the nose or on the skin, and they generally do not cause any symptoms - a phenomenon known as colonisation, according to the NHS.

Ms Gilchrist told Daily Mail Australia that she first put “a little ache” down to “bad posture”, but that eventually progressed to become “worse than childbirth”.

“I literally thought I was going to die,” she told the Warwick Daily News.

Doctors could not pinpoint the cause of Ms Gilchrist’s pain as her body started to go numb and she lost the feeling in her legs.

She was then airlifted to hospital, given emergency surgery, and put into an induced coma.

Hospital staff told her when she woke up that she had contracted community-associated MRSA – a form of staph.

Gilchrist believes she caught the infection because her friend had a staph infection on her face, and her immune was not strong enough to tackle the bacteria.

It has damaged her spine so severely that she will never walk again, and will never regain control over her bowel or bladder function.

However, Gilchrist is remaining positive after she managed to wiggle her toes, and doctors told her she may be able to walk for an hour or two a day, the Warwick Daily News reported.

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