A California mom who consumed fish tainted with a fatal disease had all four of her limbs amputated, according to her friends.
After spending months in the hospital, 40-year-old Laura Barajas got the life-saving procedure on Thursday.
“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 KRON.
Messina said that Barajas, whose kid is 6 years old, fell ill days after eating the fish she had bought at a nearby San Jose market and prepared for herself at home. She became seriously ill within days and was eventually hospitalized.
“She almost lost her life. She was on a respirator,” Messina said “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,”.
According to Messina, Barajas has Vibrio Vulnificus, a potentially lethal bacteria that is present in raw seafood and seawater.
“The ways you can get infected with this bacteria are, one, you can eat something that’s contaminated with it [and] the other way is by having a cut or tattoo exposed to water in which this bug lives,” UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Natasha Spottiswoode told KRON.
It’s a particularly dangerous virus, she warned, for people who have weakened immune systems.
The CDC estimates that 150 to 200 cases of Vibro Vulnificus are reported annually. One in five afflicted individuals pass away.
Barajas’ family is anxious to find out more information about what happened and what to do next.
To help the Barajas with the costs of their medical care and with adjusting to her new life, Messina started a GoFundMe page. It has raised more than $49,000.