MAIDSTONE, U.K. – A student who thought she fell ill due to exam stress discovered she was actually suffering from toxic shock syndrome.
About a month ago, Emily Pankhurst, 20, says she started feeling ill, KentOnline reports.
“I was going through an extremely stressful time, trying to complete deadlines for essays and everything got on top of me. I started complaining of fatigue, high temperature and constant headaches, which I believed were stress-related. However, down below I noticed abnormal discharge appear straight after my regular period ended.”
She says she booked a doctor’s appointment, but the doctor sent her home without giving her an internal examination.
When she got home, her mom told her to take a shower and make sure she hadn’t forgotten to remove her tampon.
“I went ahead and showered and to my shock, she was right,” she said. “I found a nasty, smelly, foul tampon that had gotten so far up I couldn’t feel a thing.”
Pankhurst realized she left the tampon in for nine days.
According to KentOnline, about 30 minutes after she removed the tampon, Pankhurst started feeling even worse.
She was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.
“The doctors and nurses rushed to my bedside, I was sent straight to x-ray to determine whether the infection had spread to my vital organs. Luckily it hadn’t. I had an internal examination, which I hadn’t received before, and they found major infection. My body had experienced toxic shock syndrome through battling with sepsis,” she told KentOnline.
The 20-year-old student was hospitalized for three days.
“I was very lucky my mum saw my symptoms as abnormal as the doctors said if I had gone to bed that night I wouldn’t have woken up the next day. The sepsis would have spread all across my body and shut down my vital organs,” she said.
According to KentOnline, doctors said if Pankhurst had kept the tampon in for one more day, she would have died.
She now hopes sharing her experience will keep other women from going through the same trauma she experienced.