When it comes to hygiene, contraception, and the variety of other topics that come with growing up don’t ever really prepare you for when those growing up things begin to actually kill you. The story of thirteen year old Jemma-Louise has sparked awareness on a disease that has long since been discussed. As she began to feel ill while she and her family were on a vacation, she had been originally diagnosed with a stomach bug, as told by Manchester Evening News.
Jemma continued to get worse until finally she was brought into the hospital once more where she was then diagnosed with TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). This disease is triggered by the related use of tampons. As she claimed using tampons before her illness, which allowed her to continue her competitive swimming, only to have her die from a brain bleed while on a heart/lung machine, in March 2014. This was a week after her diagnosis. Blood tests then showed evidence of staphylococcus bacteria which is linked to TSS as well as sepsis.
The family has now set their aim to raising awareness of this critical disease in the hopes that another family does not have to go through this same pain as they did with their daughter. Mrs. Roberts exclaims:
“TSS used to be talked about in the ’80s, but you never hear it now. My husband had never heard of TSS — if one dad reads this and his daughter falls ill, it could save her life.”
However, MD, spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Aaron Glatt, explains why it shouldn’t scare teenagers from using tampons entirely. He states:
“Certainly tampons are safe to use. At the same time, there is a potential risk of toxic shock syndrome with the more absorbent, heavier tampons because people think they can leave them in for longer periods of time.”