Laura Barajas: California mom loses all four limbs after undercooked tilapia leads to bacterial infection
Laura Barajas, 40, underwent life-saving amputation after battling a terrible infection for months
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: A California mother lost all four limbs after contracting a bacterial infection from undercooked Tilapia fish.
Laura Barajas, 40, underwent life-saving amputation surgery on Thursday after battling a terrible infection for months.
'Her fingers were black'
A friend told News 19 that Barajas, a mother of a six-year-old boy, fell ill in late July after eating fish she bought at a local market in San Jose and cooked for herself at home.
"It's just been really heavy on all of us. It's terrible. This could've happened to any of us," Barajas' friend Anna Messina told the outlet. "She almost lost her life. She was on a respirator."
She explained, "They put her into a medically induced coma. Her fingers were black, her feet were black her bottom lip was black. She had complete sepsis and her kidneys were failing."
How deadly is vibrio vulnificus?
The infection is thought to have been caused by vibrio vulnificus, a bacterial infection about which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a warning, as reported by DailyMail.
UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr Natasha Spottiswoode explained, "The ways you can get infected with this bacteria are - one, you can eat something that's contaminated with it. The other way is by having a cut or tattoo exposed to water in which this bug lives."
According to the CDC, approximately 150-200 infections are reported yearly, and one in every five people infected dies. According to Spottiswoode, the bacteria is hazardous for immunocompromised people.
Spottiswoode said, "People should take sensible precautions like if you have a cut avoid getting immersed in water until it's well healed."
Spottiswoode added, "If you are someone immunocompromised, keeping an eye on these things and avoiding those high-risk activities and foods."
GoFundMe page to assist Laura Barajas
Messina added, "Be thankful for what we have right now because it can be taken away so quickly so easily." Messina has created a GoFundMe page to assist her friend in covering her medical expenses and ongoing care needs.
"This family is in desperate need of our help. While Jose has health benefits through his work, it remains uncertain whether they will cover Laura, his partner of eight years," Messina wrote on the page, which has raised more than $26,000 so far.
"Jose's paid time off (PTO) has been exhausted, and the Family Disability program provides only 60% of his normal income. The mounting hospital bills are overwhelming, and Laura's physical condition will necessitate significant changes to their lives as they adapt to her new circumstances," she added.