A Tennessee woman thought she was suffering from a common case of strep throat, but it led to her being placed in a medically-induced coma and having several fingers and toes amputated.
Shelby Smith, from Knoxville, said she had come down with the throat infection in January and had to seek medical attention after she started “shaking and convulsing.”
“My lips started turning blue and my eyes were rolling in the back of my head,” she told WATE 6 On Your Side Monday. “Little did I know, I was going into septic shock.”
Smith said her throat had started to close up and her organs were beginning to fail. Doctors placed her in a coma for a week.
Smith told the outlet that when she woke up several of her fingers and toes had lost circulation and had turned black.
She had all five fingers on her right hand amputated, as well as the index finger on her left and two toes on her left foot. Her family set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs.
Smith told WATE that she decided to share her story after hearing of a Michigan man who experienced a similar medical emergency.
Kevin Breen, 44 from Grand Rapids, had to have his left hand and several fingers on his right hand removed after getting a rare strain of strep throat.
The married father of two also had partial amputation on both feet.
Dr. Jeffry King, an Infectious Disease Specialist, told CBS Philadelphia that cases like Smith and Breen’s are very rare and there are only “a few hundred cases a year.”