Fourteen-year-old Molly Pawlett is a freshman in high school. Normally a healthy and carefree girl, she recently awoke feeling sick. It was all due to the simple thing the teen girl had forgotten to do before heading off to bed the night before, and she nearly died because of it.
Initially, Molly’s mother Sonia figured she just had a cold, but then her maternal instincts kicked in. “At first I assumed Molly had a bug, but for some reason, I had a strange feeling it was something more serious,” recalled Sonia Pawlett.
“I asked Molly if she was wearing a tampon, which she was. I had told her not to wear a tampon overnight but of course, being 14, she thought she knew better,” Sonia added.
Molly is not alone; there are many grown women who do not know that wearing a tampon overnight can be deadly. The 14-year-old had developed Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a potentially fatal illness caused by a bacterial toxin. Different bacterial toxins may cause TSS, and sometimes, this syndrome can be spurred by leaving a tampon in overnight.
When she looked at her skin, she saw quickly that a rash had spread all across her body. Even though Molly removed the tampon right away, she had already worn it for 10 hours and needed medical attention right away. “If we hadn’t of taken her to the hospital when we did then it could have been fatal,” Sonia said.
She was rushed to the hospital, and they saved her life. [Source: God Fitting]
“I usually wear a tampon and so do my friends at school, so I was completely shocked and didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” said Molly.
“I really want to encourage other girls not to leave tampons in for longer than eight hours. Thankfully I pulled through but others might not be as lucky,” added the teen.
Sonia said her daughter hadn’t passed urine since the night before and they struggled to take blood from her as it had “turned thick like syrup.”
She said Molly had a really sore mouth and a red tongue, which are also signs of toxic shock. [Source: Mirror]
While incidents of TSS are rare, with a 2004 study determining that only 3 to 4 out of every 100,000 tampon users will experience it each year, the syndrome is nonetheless deadly. Many people do not know about the dangers of TSS, and it is especially important that girls and parents of girls are informed about the health risk. Please share Molly’s story so that others will be warned, hopefully making this sometimes fatal consequence even rarer than it already is.