Australian Socialite Undergoes 36 Surgeries, Has Both Feet Amputated After Mosquito Bite In Nigeria
A 52-year-old lady from Australia, Stephenie Rodriguez has narrated her experience after going down with malaria such that both feet were amputated.
According to her, she endured an 18-month nightmare when she contracted cerebral malaria from a mosquito bite during a visit to Lagos, Nigeria.
In a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, the single mother and digital entrepreneur had been invited for a photoshoot next to a pool of stagnant water while speaking at a business gathering of travel executives.
The socialite noted that it was while she was there, she got bitten three times by a mosquito on her left ankle.
Armed with enough insect repellant, Rodriguez said she conscientiously doused herself in insect repellant, owing to a bad reaction she suffered from an anti-malarial drug in the past.
Days later after flying to India, Rodriguez said she began to feel tired and exhausted but dismissed the feeling, describing it as ‘out of character’, but put it down to ‘compound jet-lag’.
Her next stop was Boston, it was Rodriguez’ first time in the US, but her trip was abruptly cut short when she was rushed to hospital after struggling to eat and drink.
An infectious diseases specialist had confirmed that Rodriguez had cerebral malaria just 24 later, but by then she had fallen into a coma.
According to doctors, Rodriguez had only a two per cent chance of survival after Artesunate – a drug used to treat severe malaria – sent her into septic shock and organ failure.
In a last ditch effort to save her life doctors used vasopressor drugs to redirect blood flow from her limbs to her vital organs.
“It was the last trick in the bag, and they cautioned my family that if I survived, there would be collateral damage,” she said.
“The vasopressors robbed my feet and hands, the things furthest from my heart, of blood and like frostbite, the areas without blood and oxygen began to die.”
The drugs caused her feet and hands to blacken from necrosis and at one point she witnessed her own toe fall off into her hand.
“It was horrible, absolutely horrible. Completely unimaginable,’ she said.