Model who lost leg to toxic shock syndrome now has second leg amputated

Lauren Wasser contracted TSS in 2012 after using a tampon. She's now a double amputee

Judith Vonberg,Chelsea Ritschel
Monday 15 January 2018 10:59
Comments
Model Lauren Wasser tells her story of suffering tampon induced Toxic Shock Syndrome

A model who lost her right leg after suffering from toxic shock syndrome (TSS) caused by a tampon has now also had her left leg amputated because of the same infection.

Lauren Wasser, 29, posted a picture of herself with Amy Purdy - model, actress, Paralympic snowboarder and double amputee - following the operation.

Wasser's partner, Jennifer Rovero, had kept fans updated on social media throughout the surgery.

"Guys she's in recovery! She's out! Doctor called and said everything went well!" Ms Rovero wrote in a post three days ago.

The American model contracted TSS in 2012 after using a tampon while on her period.

The disease is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by bacteria entering the body and releasing harmful toxins. It can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Ms Wasser first started suffering from flu-like symptoms, which culminated in a heart attack which left her on life support.

Gangrene began to consume both of her legs, which led to a below-the-knee amputation of her right leg and toe amputations on her left foot.

Although doctors recommended amputating both legs at the time, Ms Wasser decided to try to save her left leg.

But the model revealed in a column for InStyle in November that she would soon lose that leg too.

“I’m in daily excruciating pain,” she wrote. “I have a golden leg that I am completely proud of, but my left foot that has an open ulcer, no heel, and no toes.

“Over the years, my body has produced a lot of calcium, which causes my bones to grow on that foot. Basically, my brain is telling my toes to grow back—and it got to the point where I need surgery to shave the bone down because it becomes too unbearable to walk.”

“In a few months, I’m inevitably going to have my other leg amputated. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

In a social media post shortly before the amputation, Ms Wasser seemed upbeat about her future.

“Life is about to be so different, again! I’m in great spirits though and ready for my next chapter,” she wrote.

Since the first amputation, Ms Wasser has dedicated her time to raising awareness about TSS prevention, including the potential risks of using tampons.

“What I can do is help make sure that this doesn’t happen to others,” she wrote in November.

She is campaigning for the US government to pass the Robin Danielson Act, named after a woman who lost her life to TSS.

The bill directs the National Institutes of Health to support research on the extent to which components (including fragrances and dyes) in feminine hygiene products pose any health risks to the women who use them.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in