The story of JC, a 19-year-old English student, has everyone wanting to check his leftovers in the fridge. This young English man who lives with a roommate simply wanted to enjoy the leftovers from his roommate’s meal and found himself, a few hours later, suffering from a very serious infection which ended up leading to the amputation of several of his his fingers, but also his two legs below his knees. It all started with leftover chicken noodles, which the victim’s roommate had eaten the night before. Only the latter was sick after eating and, rather than throwing away the suspicious meal, put it back in the fridge where it was then eaten by JC. Shortly after his meal, JC started having severe stomach pains and nausea, and it was when purple spots appeared on his skin that a friend took him to the emergency room.

All the symptoms pointed to an infection: a high temperature, a heart rate of 166 beats per minute and deteriorating skin. JC quickly had to be put to sleep, and, according to the New England Journal of Medicine which documented this case, was then transported to intensive care at another hospital better equipped to deal with the gravity of his situation. According to the report, JC developed symptoms in just under 24 hours, including blood clots and kidney failure. According to his blood tests taken during his first hospitalization, his blood contained the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. According to Dr. Bernard, who took up this case to illustrate it on his medical Youtube channel, “when the bacteria is present in the blood, all the blood vessels in the body dilate so that the blood pressure decreases, which prevents oxygen to reach all the organs”.

JC woke up after 26 days in a coma

The small blood clots that then formed also prevented blood flow to JC’s extremities, depleting his hands and feet of oxygen and blood. The skin on his fingers and lower legs then began to peel off, which led to the amputation of several fingers and his legs. JC came out of a coma 26 days after his hospitalization and his condition has improved, but he will now have to adjust to his new physical condition. According to Dr. Bernard, although infections are a common reaction of the immune system when it finds itself under threat, such severe sepsis is rare.

Illustration image © Pexels

Lara T.
Lara T.

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