February 17, 2019
20-year-old Layane Dias suffered a setback from an infected nose piercing.
Dias went for a nose piercing back in July 2018, and when it became swollen and started bleeding, she thought it was just part of the process.
She dismissed the pain at first but became increasingly worried when she noticed serious pain in her legs. However, she thought it was a fever.
Dias treaded the cramps in her legs with cream and said the pain went away eventually. A few weeks later, the pain was back and it worse than before.
She went for a checkup and doctors were baffled at first Tests showed that she had contracted staphylococcus aureus.
It was only when her doctors asked if she noted any scraps or scratches around her nose, that Dias made the connection to the nose piercing.
She told them about the piercing, but it was too late. She had trouble walking, and the pain in her legs eventually turned to numbness.
MRI scans showed that Dias had approximately 500 milliliters of pus in her spinal cord and she was rushed to the operating room.
Her medical team stopped the spread of the infection. If left untreated, it could have proved fatal, and Dias doctor confirmed that she had never seen an infection such as this in her 15-year career.
Dr. Oswaldo Riberio Marquez explained: "When the liquid was removed, her marrow decompressed and this prevented her condition from worsening."
However, the damage was already done, and Dias will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She has since made peace with it and told reporters:
"I was devastated. At the start, it was a very sad situation. My life changed a lot, but I felt happy when I left the hospital as I was not there anymore. I have met other young people in wheelchairs, and I have seen that I can be happy like this [in a wheelchair]."
While Dias is coming to terms with being paralyzed, 19-year-old Yvonne Rooney from Carlow lost movement in her neck due to a neck piercing. She said:
“I had emergency surgery because the lump was so close my brain and spinal cord. The nurse said I could have been left completely paralyzed if the swelling was a quarter of an inch closer to my spinal cord. It was the most painful and terrifying experience of my life.”