This woman almost died of toxic shock syndrome after leaving a tampon in for 9 days

We’ve all heard of the dangers of toxic shock syndrome, but one student recently experienced it firsthand—and almost didn’t live to tell the tale.

Emily Pankhurst, a 20-year-old student in the United Kingdom, thought she was just feeling stressed out over her finals. However, she was actually suffering from TSS after accidentally leaving in a tampon for over a week—nine days, to be precise. In January, she originally put the tampon in, but due to studying stress, she forgot she had already inserted one and put in another—then, later, only took the second one out.

For a few days, she felt fine. . . until her stomach grew bloated. “My mum, Diana, said I should go to the doctor,” she said. “I did and they took tests but nothing appeared to show up. I was feeling really ill by that stage. I was hot and dizzy and felt really strange. I was bleeding more and my mum suggested I feel about and see if there was anything there.”

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