A young Australian mother had her life changed forever after catching a staph infection from her friend's makeup brush.
Jo Gilchrist, 27, will spend the rest of her life relying on a wheelchair after using a friend's infected makeup brush on a pimple.
She has been at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital ever since the infection became unbearable on Valentine's Day. Doctors are working hard to fight the disease.
"It started as a little ache in my back and I thought it was my bad posture," Gilchrist told Daily Mail Australia, "but it kept getting worse and worse."
She continued: "I was in incredible pain and nothing would work. I honestly thought I was going to die -- the pain was worse than childbirth."
For a while, doctors were unsure as to what was wrong with Gilchrist. By then, her body was beginning to go numb and she lost the feeling in her legs.
"They said [the numbness] would go all the way up my arms and into my chest and when that happened I'd have to be put in an induced coma and learn to breathe again," Gilchrist said.
Eventually, Gilchrist had to be airlifted to a hospital in Brisbane where she went through surgery.
After the surgery, doctors informed her that she had contracted MRSA.
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, also known as a Staph infection or MRSA, is a common bacterium found on the skin of healthy individuals. It is commonly spread through contact between individuals like hand touching or sharing grooming products. Though it is generally harmless, the bacteria can grow and cause serious infections through broken skin. MRSA is also resistant to antibiotics.
"The only thing we can put it down to is the make upbrush," she said. "My friend did have a staph infection on her face and I was using her brush just before. I had no idea that could happen, I used to share with my friends all the time.
"My best friend feels horrible," she added, "but it's not her fault at all. I just had a low immune system and it was the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria."
Though Gilchrist survived the ordeal, she was told that the infection damaged her spine in such a way that she could never walk again.
"They told me at my bedside that I'd never walk again and I just felt numb and I had tears rolling down my cheeks," she told reporters. "But I'm fighting this with all I've got and I'm starting to learn to walk again. Two weeks ago they said I might be able to walk for an hour or two a day -- like grocery shopping, washing up and hanging the washing out. I'm happy with that. I honestly didn't even expect that."
For now though, Gilchrist considers herself lucky that she survived with the damage just going to her spine, for the alternative would have been much worse to her.
"I was so lucky it went to my spine ... if it went to my brain I would have died and if it went to my limbs they would have been amputated," Gilchrist said. "I feel like I have a second chance at life. Everything happens for a reason I've definitely got my fight back for life."
Source: The Daily Mail
Photo Credit: Jo Gilchrist via The Daily Mail