News | Health

Her Strep Throat Infection Cost Her Her Fingers, and Almost Her Life

A Tennessee teen is lucky to be alive after her strep throat infection turned into something much more deadly.

"I started shaking and convulsing and my lips started turning blue," said Shelby Smith.

She had an annoying tickle in the back of her throat for weeks. She ignored it, figuring that it'd go away on its own. The decision would cost her dearly.

Lost her Fingers
YouTube

"Little did I know I was going into septic shock."

Smith had a rare form of strep throat bacteria that's highly aggressive. Dr. Jeffry King, one of Smith's physicians, said it's hard to detect and even harder to treat.

She was rushed to hospital and was put in a medically induced coma for a week while doctors treated her infection. The medicine came at a high cost however.

The treatment redirected blood flow back into Smith's organs. That meant her extremities were receiving less and less blood. When she was finally lifted out of coma her fingers and toes were black. She lost parts of 4 fingers on her right hand and 2 toes on her left foot.

Toes
ABC

Still, Smith thinks she's lucky to be alive.

"I either buckle under the pressure or I can pick myself up and make a new normal," she said.

She'll need a brave attitude. Her family doesn't have insurance and the medical bills are piling up. They say next month they'll launch a GoFundMe Page.

Shelby isn't the only one to have had problems with strep. Earlier this year a child tragically lost their life to the common illness.

Related Articles