Man’s Best Friend
Everyone knows that dogs are man’s best friend, right? Personally, I have always had at least one pooch in my life, two at the moment. Admittedly, there’s something vibrant and loving about dogs and we humans have a deeply rooted connection to them. Some dogs even go on to have illustrious careers such as sniffing out bombs in Afghanistan, searching for bodies after natural disasters, chasing down escaped convicts and even providing their warm coats and cold noses to hospital patients as therapy dogs. Oh, and lets not forget the big ole’ St. Bernards that are raised in China for their size and weight. More meat for the stew pot. But don’t worry, I’m not going to get into dog slaughter today but rather tell you a story about a woman who, after undergoing cancer treatment … twice … got a puppy to lift her spirits, soothe her soul and eventually … destroy her life. Here’s the story from The Mail Online:
A 32-year-old woman who has already fought cancer twice faces yet another battle after both her hands and feet were amputated following a rare infection caught from her puppy.
Hannah Rinehart has been in a medically-induced coma at Northside Hospital in Cumming, Georgia since July 3, after the bacteria ravaged her body and left her with a 103 degree fever.
Doctors were forced to amputate the nurse’s hands and feet last Thursday after her body went into septic shock and she suffered circulatory problems.
They believe she contracted capnocytophaga, an infection usually found in the saliva of dogs. Her husband Mark said he did not know if their one-year-old dog, Brownie, bit her.
The rare infection is only usually a danger to elderly, infirm or those with underlying diseases. Capnocytophaga is found in the throat of mammals and can be passed to humans through bite wounds. The bacteria can cause septicemia, meningitis, rare eye infections and endocarditis – an inflammation of the heart. Symptoms often include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, confusion, muscle pain or malaise. It can also bring on septic shock. When discovered, it can be treated with anti-microbial medications.
‘It was basically like being struck by lightning,’ Mr Rinehart told the Gwinnett Daily Post. ‘It doesn’t happen.’
Mr Rinehart, who has been updating friends and family on her Facebook page nearly every day, said she is not fully conscious yet.
‘The most immediate step is ensuring that we are with Hannah as the sedation wears off,’ he wrote on Facebook. ‘She made a face tonight that seemed to be an attempt at a smile, and she was responding to commands like ‘stick out your tongue”.’
Hannah has beaten cancer twice since the age of 18; she suffered twice from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was in remission for seven years.
She underwent two bone marrow transplants, which weakened her immune system and made her more susceptible to the bacteria.
Despite these struggles, her husband, a schoolteacher and national guardsman, said she has always been upbeat.
‘You see people around who have had a tough time and are bitter about it,’ Mr Rinehart told WXIA.
‘She’s not; she’s always excited about living. She’s a fighter, I married a fighter.
‘It’s just another stage in our life. I know when she comes out of this she’s going to be smiling just as big as she was before.’
He added to Fox: ’She’s got a passion for living and she was grateful for every day she had after [cancer] and she’s going to be grateful for every day she has after this.’
He said doctors said the bacteria likely came from their puppy and she needed to undergo the amputations to remove the dead tissue from her body.
Her father, Doug Johnson, said it has devastated the family but they have come together to fight it.
‘You cry a lot,’ he told Fox. ‘It’s not something you every want to go through. You could never want your worst enemy to have anything like this every happen to them.’
Mr Rinehart said he has been given support and advice from other families who have also endured quadruple amputations and looks forward to being in touch with more.’We are loved and supported by so many people I can’t begin to send thank yous out but I can keep trying,’ Mr Rinehart, who has been sleeping in the hospital, said.
Although her injuries appear the same, Hannah is not battling the same infection as Georgia grad student Aimee Copeland, who lost her hands and feet to a flesh-eating virus two months ago.
I don’t know about you guys but I had no idea that this germ even existed. Next time my little dog Dixie wants to give me kisses? I’m making her rinse with Listerine first. And I will to.I’m Jeffrey Lynch and that’s today’s Spot of Bother.
Severed Goddess Hand, Meat Puppets