A young woman had to have her leg and toes amputated – after a dip in a hot tub at a party caused meningitis.
Lauren Briggs, 25, woke up at her friend’s house unable to breathe in January after spending the evening having fun.
She was rushed to hospital thanks to a quick-thinking pal, where she was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia.
The life-threatening blood infection occurs when bacteria in the blood multiplies uncontrollably.
Doctors battled to save Lauren’s life and were forced to amputate her right leg below the knee and her toes on her left leg.
The GP’s receptionist, from Corringham, Essex, has now been left wheelchair-bound.
Lauren said she was shocked when doctors explained her spell in the hot tub was the likely cause.
She said: “The night before, I had been in my friend’s hot tub and doctors told me I may have contracted the infection through a small cut on my foot whilst in the hot tub.
“Hot tubs are filled with bacteria so it’s likely that could have been the cause.
“I went to sleep that night feeling a bit nauseous but my friend found me in the early hours of the next morning gasping for breath on the floor.
“The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital wondering what was going on.
“I was put on life support and was completely dependent on the machines for 48 hours.
“My feet were jet black; they did multiple skin grafts from my left thigh to rebuild my feet but in the end, they couldn’t save my right leg or toes and they had to be amputated to save my life”.
Lauren’s mum, Tracey, 58, added: “I went straight to the hospital when I found out what had happened and when I arrived, I didn’t recognise my own daughter because she was so swollen and blue.
“I thought they had taken me to the wrong window; when I saw her I fell to the floor and begged God to save her and not to let her go.
“She’s my only child – she’s my baby and doctors told me it was unlikely she would survive longer than 48 hours.
“They would regularly take Lauren down to theatre to clean the feet up and check everything and on this one particular day, she was in there all day and I knew something must have been happening.
“When I found out about the amputations, I dropped down on the floor again because I knew how this would impact her quality of life.
“She was discharged on April 30 but her life is completely different – it used to be just the two of us living together but now she has to stay in specialist accommodation that can cater for her wheelchair”.
Lauren, who has been left with a severe speech impairment, is currently fundraising after being left unable to work due to her condition.
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She added: “I had no idea about the amputations because I felt like I still had both my feet – I lifted the covers up and saw and was devastated.
“I’m currently staying in a mother and baby hostel because they couldn’t find anywhere else for me to stay.
“I just want to live a life as normal as possible; I haven’t even got a prosthetic leg yet.
“I was always on the go before this, hardly ever sitting down and now I have to rely on people to do anything.
“It feels like I’m trapped inside my own body and I just want to get out.
“It has affected my mental health drastically; my life has been turned upside down.
A GoFundMe page has been launched to help Lauren.
To donate, click here.