An Indiana woman said she almost lost her leg after she contracted a deadly bacterial infection while on vacation.
Taylor Bryant, 26, from Indianapolis was on a family trip with her husband and two children in March 2018 to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, when she started to feel pain and cramping in her lower right leg.
Over the next few days, it began swelling, developing a rash and eventually was so painful that she couldn’t stand on it.
Bryant was admitted to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with cellulitis, a serious bacterial infection that, when left untreated, can turn into the flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis.
Doctors believe Bryant, a FedEx freight worker, contracted the infection from a hot tub and the mother-of-two says she now wants to warn others that it can happen to them too.
Taylor Bryant, 26, from Indianapolis, Indiana, developed a rash and pain in her right leg during a family vacation to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in March 2019. She visited an urgent care clinic and her family doctor, both of whom described her a 10-day regimen of antibiotics. Pictured: Bryant, left, and with one of her children, right
After her leg rash and swelling only became worse, she was referred to a wound doctor, who told her she might need skin grafts or an amputation. Pictured: Bryant’s infected leg
It was about three days into the family vacation in Pigeon Forge – a mountain town known for its proximity to national forests and parks – that Bryant woke up feeling nauseous.
‘I got orange juice to try to get something in my stomach, but I got even more nauseous,’ she told DailyMail.com.
Bryant’s husband, Chris, took their children out while she stayed in the hotel to rest.
The next day, she visited a local urgent care clinic after she felt pain in her lower right leg and saw a slight rash develop.
‘I was still in PJs when I walked in, I was like a hot mess going in there,’ she joked.
‘They told me that I likely had an infection and I needed to go home and see my family doctor.’
She was put on one antibiotic by the urgent care clinic and another by her primary care doctor for 10 days – but her leg wasn’t getting better.
‘You could see all the blisters coming up with pus underneath, and they then started to drain out,’ Bryant said.
Bryant saw an infection specialist who recommended she be admitted to the hospital so she could be started on IV antibiotics. Pictured: Bryant’s infected leg
She was diagnosed with a cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection that, when left untreated, can develop into the flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis. Pictured: Bryant’s infected leg
After the antibiotics didn’t work, the mother-of-two was referred to a wound doctor.
‘She looked at it for two to three minutes and then said: “I’m going to call my infection doctor down”,’ Bryant said.
The infection specialist confirmed Bryant had a ‘bad’ infection and needed to be admitted to the hospital to be put on IV antibiotics.
Bryant said she feared at one point she might lose her leg.
‘My husband was talking to the wound doctor and he said: “How serious are we talking? Surgery, amputation, skin graft?”‘
‘And the wound doctor said: “There’s no knowing.” To be honest, I was crying so much. I was very nervous of what could the outcome of being 26, being the mom of two young kids and losing a part of my body.’
She was released after four days at St Francis Hospital in Indianapolis, where doctors diagnosed her with cellulitis.
Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that occurs when a crack or break in the skin lets bacteria enter the body.
It most often affects the lower legs, but can also occur in the face and arms, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Bryant was treated at St Francis Hospital for four days before she was released. The infection, which doctors believe she contracted from a hot tub, was cleared after two weeks of antibiotics. Pictured, left and right: Bryant with her husband
Currently, Bryant puts ointment on her wound everyday twice a day and wears compression socks. Pictured: Bryant’s infected leg
Symptoms include red skin that’s warm to the touch, swelling, pain, blisters, pus and fever.
If left untreated, the infection can spread throughout the body and cause life-threatening complications, even developing into the flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis.
Roughly two out of every 1,000 people have cellulitis in the lower leg in the US every year, according to a 2014 study from the University of Washington.
Photos show black dead tissue falling off her skin and pus draining out as the blister on her leg popped.
After two weeks of antibiotics, the infection was deemed cleared from her body.
Currently, Bryant puts ointment on her wound everyday twice a day and wears compression socks.
Last week was her first back at work and she said she still feels a bit of tension in her leg when she’s up on her feet for hours.
‘My skin isn’t the same yet and still have a huge color change for the time being,’ she said. ‘I am lucky to still have my leg, but more lucky that I am still here today.’