MRSA Bacteria From Borrowed Makeup Brush Paralyzes 27-Year-Old Woman

wheelchair
Jo Gilchrist is fighting her paralysis and hoping she can one day walk again. Facebook

You’ve probably borrowed your best friend’s hair brush, or shared their drinks and clothes. But one woman who borrowed her best friend’s makeup brush didn’t realize that it would have such devastating consequences for her.

Jo Gilchrist, a young mother of a 2-year-old son, was paralyzed completely after developing a staph infection that attacked her spine. She believes it was passed along through the brush and the microbes might have entered her system through a pimple on her face.

Typically, about a third of healthy people have harmless staphylococcus bacteria living on their skin. But a very small proportion of people (about two percent) carry an antibiotic-resistant version. It’s possible that since Gilchrist’s friend had previously had a staph infection on her face, it had been transferred to Gilchrist through the makeup brush and her own immune system wasn’t able to fight it off. The particular strain of staph that attacked her spine was MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

“The only thing we can put it down to is the makeup brush,” Gilchrist, 27, told The Daily Mail Australia. “My friend did have a staph infection on her face and I was using her brush just before. I had no idea that could even happen, I used to share with my friends all the time.”

Gilchrist initially felt a “little ache” that quickly turned into back and full body pain that was “worse than childbirth.” She noted, “I literally thought I was going to die.” Soon, the feeling in her legs began to go numb and she knew something was terribly wrong.

After being airlifted to the hospital, doctors began trying to figure out what was causing the numbness and paralysis. They placed her in an induced coma and started emergency surgery. The staph infection, however, had already destroyed her spine and left her unable to walk, as well as unable to control her bowel or bladder function.

Gilchrist, despite this devastating setback, remains positive about her life and believes that with the proper attitude to not give up, she will walk again someday. She’s been in intensive treatment and therapy, and with the help of physical therapy she’s been able to slowly move her legs and stand. In a new video she uploaded to her Facebook, Gilchrist shows herself fighting the paralysis by moving around and standing.

“I’m fighting this with all I’ve got and I’m starting to learn to walk again,” she told the Daily Mail. “Two weeks ago they said I might be able to walk for an hour or two a day — like grocery shopping, washing up, and hanging the washing out. I’m happy with that. I honestly didn’t even expect that.”

Loading...
Join the Discussion