A mother of the four was amputated a triple after her dog bit her and caused life-threatening sepsis.
Christine Caron played tug of war with her four dogs on May 16, 2013, when her three-year-old Shih Tzu, Buster, accidentally bit her hand.
Caron, from Ottawa, Canada, went to the hospital six days later after experiencing flu-like symptoms and vomiting overnight. She collapsed on arrival.
She woke up three weeks later from a coma to find out she was fighting sepsis – the body's response to an infection, presumably from a dog bite.
The 55-year-old was told that she must have amputated her right arm and both legs, because sepsis tissue can die.
Caron has since learned to live with prostheses and is now doing everything she can to raise awareness of sepsis.
Christine Caron, 55, played tug of war with her four dogs on May 16, 2013, when her three-year-old Shih Tzu, Buster (right), accidentally bit her hand. Pictured after she had the amputations
Caron woke up from a coma to find out that she is fighting sepsis – a deadly condition that can be caused by an infected beast – and that she needs her legs and an arm amputated as a result. Pictured in the hospital after surgery
The mother of the four, from Ottawa, Canada, has since learned to live with prostheses (photo) and is doing everything to raise awareness of sepsis.
Mrs. Caron said: “I was just playing with my dog in the yard when he accidentally squeezed my hand.
& # 39; I didn't think it would be a problem because I cleaned it right away and it wasn't infected.
& # 39; I had been suffering from bronchitis for a few months, but three days after the dog bite I started experiencing a few dizzy spells and became less well there. & # 39;
On May 21, Caron felt very weak, windy and nauseous at work, so went home and fell asleep on the couch.
She said: & I tried to go to the clinic, but it was closed a little earlier, so I went home and went straight to bed – and this was the last thing I remembered for months. & # 39;
HOW CAN A DOG CONNECTION LEAD TO SEPSIS?
Sepsis is a serious complication of an infection.
Biting and scratching can result in a bacterial infection that can occasionally cause sepsis.
An animal bite that breaks your skin exposes you to multiple bacteria, both from bacteria that may be on your skin and bacteria in the mouth of the animal.
If the bite barely breaks the skin, you have a better chance of properly cleaning the wound.
Dog bites are the most common in pets, but cat bites cause around 15 percent of pet bites in the US. At first they may not seem to cause as much damage as dog bites, but their smaller teeth and deep flat tires can make it difficult to clean a wound properly.
If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal, you should thoroughly clean the wound with warm running water. Keep the wound clean and dry until it is dusted to reduce the risk of infection.
According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites in the United States in the course of a year and nearly 800,000 people need medical care due to a bite.
Source: Sepsis Alliance
After trying to sleep, Caron woke up at 11.30 am with what she thought were flu symptoms and went to the hospital the next morning.
Symptoms of sepsis include unclear speech or confusion, extreme chills or muscle aches, no peeing, severe shortness of breath, and stained or discolored skin.
Mrs. Caron said: & I collapsed in the emergency room at seven o'clock.
& # 39; The next thing I knew I was awakened in the hospital on June 13 by a coma caused.
& # 39; Then I was told that I had suffered from sepsis and the only way they could save me was if they had amputated my arms and legs. & # 39;
An animal bite can cause an infection, because bacteria in the mouth can penetrate deep into the skin.
Sepsis can cause the blood coagulation mechanism to overload and cause blockages in the blood vessels.
When blood cannot pass through the blood vessels, oxygen and essential nutrients cannot enter the body tissue. The tissue can die and needs amputation.
The sepsis had destroyed three of Mrs. Caron's limbs. But after resuming blood circulation in her right arm, she was told that she could continue to use it.
She said: “I was initially told that I should have amputated all four of the limbs, but a miracle brought the bloodstream back into my right arm — and this gave me the sparkle of hope that I needed so badly to survive.
Mrs. Caron went to the hospital six days after she had bitten what she thought was flu after vomiting all night. Depicted with her dog Milo in 2017
Mrs. Caron woke up from a coma a month after she collapsed after arriving at the hospital. She was able to save her right arm from amputation. Shown in 2017
Although she has become a triple amputee, Caron said she now gets the best out of life. She spent seven months in the hospital and rehabilitated after her dog bite
Mrs Caron received her left prosthetic arm in 2017 (photo). She was able to eat normally and has since started practicing yoga
& # 39; My legs were amputated below the knee on June 22 and eventually my arm was amputated under the elbow on the 26th.
& # 39; I then immediately entered the rehab clinic to learn how to cope with the loss of multiple limbs and achieve a certain degree of independence. & # 39;
Mrs. Caron was discharged from the hospital to the rehabilitation center on July 8 and in September she was able to walk assisted with her prosthetic legs.
On December 18, she was discharged from the rehabilitation center.
& # 39; But it wasn't until 2017 that I received my passive left prosthetic arm & # 39 ;, Caron said, although it is not clear why it took a few years.
Mrs. Caron is happy that she could eat with more normality because the prosthetic arm is able to perform basic tasks.
Although she is a triple amputee, Caron explains that she now makes the best of being alive.
Worldwide, one third of people who develop sepsis die – at least 46,000 people in the UK and 250,000 people in the US die each year from sepsis.
Many who survive have life-changing effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain and fatigue, organ disorders and amputations.
Mrs. Caron said that yoga, her family and raising awareness for sepsis helps her to live fully every day.
She said: & # 39; Over the years I have been busy becoming active again after the mental impact of the operation stopped me.
& # 39; My first goal was to reach my 50th birthday, and that was five years ago. My new goal is to focus on helping to raise awareness of sepsis and post-sepsis syndrome problems – the condition that most sepsis survivors suffer from.
& # 39; We must do more to argue and teach – since sepsis does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone! & # 39;
WHAT IS SEPSIS?
Sepsis occurs when the body responds to an infection by attacking its own organs and tissues.
About 44,000 people die of sepsis in the UK every year. Someone worldwide dies of the condition every 3.5 seconds.
Sepsis has symptoms similar to flu, gastroenteritis and an infection of the breast.
- Sunclear speech or confusion
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain
- Pno urine in a day
- Salways shortness of breath
- IIt feels like you're dying
- Srelated or discolored
Symptoms in children are:
- Fast breathing
- Fits or convulsions
- Spotted, bluish or pale skin
- Rashes that do not fade when pressed
- Feeling abnormally cold
Among the five, vomiting can occur repeatedly, not feeding or not peeing for 12 hours.
Anyone can develop sepsis, but it is most common in people who have recently had surgery, have had a urinary catheter, or have been in hospital for a long time.
Other risk makers are people with a weak immune system, chemotherapy patients, pregnant women, the elderly and very young people.
The treatment varies depending on the site of the infection, but includes antibiotics, IV fluids and oxygen if necessary.
Source: UK Sepsis Trust and NHS Choices