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This Girl Nearly Died After Leaving Her Tampon In For Nine Days

“It was pure black.”

A student at the University of Kent has (bravely) spoken out about her near-death experience after it took her 9 days to realise she hadn’t removed her tampon.

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20-year-old Emily Pankhurst was in intensive care for three days and wound up walking around on a Zimmer frame after her body went into toxic shock.

Emily explains:

When I finally realised the tampon was in me and I pulled it out it was pure black. It was obviously coated in bacteria.

I wouldn’t have known what it was apart from the string. It was horrible. I immediately chucked it in the loo, I felt sick.

But just half-an-hour later my speech slurred and my skin became mottled. I started to feel faint and I was rushed to hospital by ambulance

During the journey they said I was displaying all the symptoms of sepsis and so the blue lights were put on. I became an emergency case.

She was put in intensive care at Maidstone Hospital and was fed 12 different types of antibiotics over 3 days.

I’ve never been in pain like it so was given morphine and doctors said if I had left it any longer I would be dead.

Photo credit: PA Real Life. Pictured: Emily Pankhurst, being visited in hospital by family friend Jason. Usage: Any publication of this image will incur a fee. Contact PA Real Life Online Editor Anna Roberts on +44 (0) 2079637218. Story: A student who thought she was stressed because of her finals was actually suffering from toxic shock syndrome - after forgetting to remove a tampon for NINE days.

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The NHS added:

The role of tampons in toxic shock syndrome remains unexplained.

One theory is that if a tampon is left in your vagina for some time, as is often the case with the more absorbent types of tampons, it can become a breeding ground for the bacteria.

Well yeah that sounds about right. Leave any foreign object in a warm and moist climate (sorry) and that’ll happen. Can’t even begin to think how wrecked Emily’s getting at uni that she literally forgets to take her tampon out for 9 days. 9 days! That must’ve been the grossest looking tampon ever. That’s not sexism or period-shaming — that’s a fact. Nobody wants to look at a bloody tampon, let alone 9-day old “pure black” one. Gross.

Bit of sober time would probably be advisable.


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