40-Year-Old Woman Loses Limbs After Infection Allegedly Caused By Undercooked Tilapia Fish

The victim’s family is currently waiting to learn the cause of her condition.

Cover image via New York Post

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The life of Laura Barajas, from San Jose, California was changed forever after she had her limbs amputated due to a bad bacterial infection

After being hospitalised and battling symptoms for over a month, she underwent a life-saving surgery last Wednesday, 13 September, which involved the removal of her legs and arms.

According to Barajas' friend, Anna Messina, Barajas fell ill and was hospitalised back in July, after she cooked and consumed tilapia fish she purchased from a market in San Jose, reported US news site Kron4.

Messina believes that the tilapia may have been undercooked, allegedly leading Barajas to get a bacterial infection called Vibrio vulnificus. This came after the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a warning about that very same infection.

According to the CDC, Vibrio vulnificus is an infection caused by consuming raw or undercooked seafood, or by exposing a wound to seawater. The flesh-eating bacteria can cause life-threatening infections and could also lead to complications, such as limb amputations.

However, it is understood that Barajas' family is still waiting to learn more about the cause of her condition.

Image via New York Post

"She almost lost her life. She was on a respirator," Messina told Kron4, speaking about Barajas' condition before the surgery

"They put her into a medically induced coma. Her fingers were black, her feet were black, her bottom lip was black. She had complete sepsis and her kidneys were failing," Messina added.

She also stated that the situation has weighed heavily on Barajas' family and friends, emphasising that the unfortunate event could happen to anyone.

In light of Barajas' condition, Messina started a GoFundMe to help pay for her friend's medical expenses

In her post, Messina stated, "This family is in desperate need of our help. While Jose (her husband) has health benefits through his work, it remains uncertain whether they will cover Laura, his partner of eight years."

She also added that the hospital bills are overwhelming, and Barajas' physical condition requires substantial adjustments to accommodate the new changes. Hence, Messina is appealing to the public for donations to help alleviate the financial burden faced by Barajas' family.

The GoFundMe has raised more than USD95,000 (about RM445,550) so far.

Image via New York Post

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