A holidayer has claimed she needs all five toes on her right foot amputated after contracting a bone-eating infection during a fish spa session.
Victoria Curthoys, from Perth, Australia, had already lost a toe after catching an infection over a decade ago.
Now, surgeons have been left with no choice but to remove the rest after she caught shewanella from the spa back in 2010, after a treatment where fish feed on any dead skin.
It took doctors in Australia two years to diagnose her with the bug, which resulted in her fending off several sickness spells.
Her big toe was amputated in 2012 after it had begun to rot away, followed by her smaller toes after the ulcers which came with walking led to more infections.
Speaking about the past few years, she told the Daily Mail:
When I was in Thailand I decided to use a fish spa. I thought nothing of it as I’d watched the owner set up the system and it looked very clean, but how wrong I was.
I ended up getting another bone infection in my big toe and it took doctors over a year to figure out what type of bug I had. By the time they’d realised what it was, my entire toe bone had been eaten away and I’d been suffering from sickness the whole time.
They eventually decided to take the big toe off completely. I felt relieved I could go back to my life without being sick all the time.
Doctors were forced to amputate half of her big toe, with the rest removed in 2012.
A year of walking without a big toe caused ulcers on the second toe from the pressure placed on it.
It had a rough callus over the top, but I was unaware that underneath that there was another raging infection. This time, the doctors took the second toe and left me with three toes.
I was healthy for another two years, I thought I was very lucky to still have my foot and carried on with my life. But then I started to get sick again.
Curthoys said she would vomit each morning and suffer a constant fever. Medics, however, were unable to find any sign of an infection.
They told her it was ‘all in her head’. It wasn’t until her podiatrist ordered blood samples they realised she did in fact have another bone infection and an acutely high white blood cell count. Surgeons promptly amputated her third and fourth toes in November 2016.
Because the little toe was the only one left, I kept knocking it and when I walked, all the pressure would go onto the little toe.
Last year I noticed my small toe wasn’t looking very happy and there was some liquid on my sock, but I couldn’t see any cuts. After a few blood samples and more X-rays, they discovered another bone infection, so they finally took the last toe in November 2017.
Now, she’s warning others against the use of fish spa treatments, saying:
At the end of the day I’ve seen people with war worse injuries and life-altering illnesses, so I consider myself lucky.
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