Woman suffered months of torture in a wheelchair - the cause was the stroking of a cat on vacation

Woman suffered months of torture in a wheelchair - the cause was the stroking of a cat on vacation

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24-year-old paralyzed after petting a stray cat

A young woman from Great Britain patted a stray cat on vacation in Portugal and ended up in a wheelchair. Apparently, the 24-year-old had become infected with the bacterium Campylobacter by touching the animal, which meant that she was unable to walk for months.

Bacterial infection put a young woman in a wheelchair

Especially with cats, many animal lovers can not stop petting them. This was also the case with Gemma Birch from Southport in the north-west of England - but then something happened that made sure that she only touched some of the animals. Because the 24-year-old contracted a bacterial infection while petting a stray cat, which led to her ending up in a wheelchair.

Campylobacter bacteria detected in the stool

According to a report by the British newspaper "Mirror", the 24-year-old Gemma Birch contracted an infection during a vacation in Portugal in 2014, which caused her to be temporarily paralyzed from the hips.

According to the information, the blogger was in Albufeira, where she ran into a stray cat, with whom she became friends.

But her love of animals was fatal: on the last day of her short vacation she had to vomit again and again and passed out on the return flight.

Back in the UK, she was taken to Southport Hospital, where the doctors eventually discovered that her stool contained Campylobacter bacteria.

These germs are usually found mainly in chicken meat.

Symptoms of Campylobacter infection

Campylobacter infections can cause intestinal inflammation, which is accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and fever.

Nausea and vomiting, blood in the stool and additional complaints such as headache and body aches, chills, or tiredness are also possible.

In rare cases, complications from Campylobacteriosis can also be Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disease of the nervous system. The 24-year-old English woman was one of those rare cases.

Disease attacks the nervous system

According to the newspaper report, Gemma Birch was released from the hospital after a week. But her father quickly brought her back after feeling numb in the legs in the middle of the night.

The doctors diagnosed the patient with Guillain-Barré syndrome - a disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own nervous system.

The blogger then said that she spent four months in a rehabilitation clinic and only returned to her normal self after 14 months.

"I had to rely on nurses to take me to the bathroom and wash myself. I lost control of my bowel and bladder and couldn't use my arms and hands because they were so weak, ”said the young woman.

She assumes that she contracted the infection from the cat in Portugal, who may have gotten the germs while rummaging in trash cans.

An older study that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows that this is obvious.

At the time, the researchers reported that four-legged friends could transmit harmful pathogens to humans, for example through bites and scratches, or even if the animal licked their faces.

The patient has become more careful

Gemma Birch has become more careful after the long ordeal.

"As much as I love her, I couldn't touch a stray cat now. I love pet cats and would pet them, ”said the 24-year-old.

However, she would also hope "that they have not rummaged in hotel containers".

Her wish is that people value their health while they have it. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Graphic video shows man torturing cat at pool (June 2022).