Next Time Think Twice Before Borrowing Your Friends Makeup, You Might End Up Paralyzed
Twenty-seven-year-old Jo Gilchrist was told that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair following a severe staph infection. Ms. Gilchrist was rushed to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane on Valentine’s Day after she began experiencing excruciating pain in her back. Doctors determined that she had contracted community-associated MRSA, a form of golden staph that is resistant to antibiotic treatment, by using a friend’s make-up brush to cover a pimple.
MRSA stands for methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. MRSA is commonly found on many healthy people and is often present on the skin or in the nose. Although it is generally harmless, the bacteria can occasionally cause skin infections and other more serious problems. MRSA can be transferred through direct contact, towels and personal grooming items.
The staph infection that Ms. Gilchrist experienced attacked her spine, leading to extreme pain. Doctors were puzzled as to what was wrong with her. While they were evaluating her, her body was beginning to go numb.
Following emergency surgery, her doctors were able to determine the cause of her pain and loss of sensation. Ms. Gilchrist was told that the staph infection had damaged her spine and that she would never walk again. She has lost all feeling below her belly button and is unable to control bowel and bladder functions. Ms. Gilchrist is required to remain in the hospital while her doctors flood her system with high-strength antibiotics to destroy the bacteria. She will remain in the hospital for another three months before being released to return home. She is the mother of a two-year-old son.
Despite this misfortune, Ms. Gilchrist keeps her spirits up. “I was so lucky it went to my spine,” she said. “If it went to my brain I would have died, and if it went to my limbs, they would have been amputated.” She feels as if she has been given a second chance at life. She is now learning how to adapt to living in a wheelchair in order to be able to live independently and to care for her son, who is currently living with family members. “It’s hard for him, because he doesn’t understand,” Ms. Gilchrist said.
Her friends have asked her favorite musician, Seth Sentry, to visit her at the hospital. He responded that he can’t visit right away since he’s on a tour, but Ms. Gilchrist is not discouraged. “I’m still holding out hope,” she said.