How a tampon led this model to lose her leg
LAUREN Wasser grew up surrounded by models and lived a glamorous lifestyle most girls envy.
So when she lost her right leg in 2012 to a near fatal bout of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) caused by a tampon, she thought she would never model again.
But since then the 28-year-old's career has taken off and she has become an avid campaigner about teaching girls the dangers of TSS, reports The Sun.
In 2012, when she was 24, Wasser's day started just like any other.
She had her period and ran out of tampons so went to the local shop to buy some.
When she returned to her apartment she changed her tampon and laid in bed texting her friends about a birthday party they were going to later that night.
She had started to feel unwell but thought she was getting a flu that had been going around.
"I was deciding if I was even going to make it because I was feeling worse and worse as the day went on," she told Style Like U.
"Just flu-like symptoms, I was feeling nauseous and my head was pounding."
Wasser decided to go to the party but as soon as she got there her worried friends told her she looked too ill and sent her home.
"All I wanted to do was get into bed," she said.
"The next thing I remember was my blind Cocker Spaniel barking and pounding on my chest.
"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.
"I took myself back to my bed and plugged my phone in to call my mum."
Her worried mum asked if she needed an ambulance but Wasser said she just wanted to sleep so her mum agreed to check in in the morning.
"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," Wasser said.
"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 placed in a medically induced coma, had multiple blood transfusions and was pumped full of fluids to flush out the toxins.
She first learned she needed an amputation when she overheard a nurse speaking to someone of the phone.
"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.
"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."
Wasser recalled the moment she signed the papers to allow doctors to amputate her right leg - a choice between life or death.
"I don't think there is really anything you can do in that situation other than try and be strong," she said.
"They write 'yes' and 'no' on your legs, like 'yes, this is the one that is going' and 'no, this is the one we are keeping'.
"To see that visually on your leg and seeing my mum kissing my leg knowing that that's the last time, it was crazy.
"It was f****** hell."
Since sharing her story Wasser has been involved in multiple modelling gigs with her gold prosthetic leg.
She has also been a campaigner for more research into the use of tampons and the potential dangers they pose for women who use them.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.