Model Who Lost Leg to Bacterial Infection Caused By Tampons Speaks Out

When Lauren Wasser woke up in the hospital without her right leg in October of 2012, she thought her life was over. Now, the 27-year old model has returned to her career with a message to spread.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 12.26.29 PM
Via Jennifer Rovero’s Instagram

Wasser was a successful model living in Los Angeles three years ago when she experienced flu-like symptoms that turned out to be toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare and life-threatening bacterial infection allegedly from the use of tampons, Today reported. Her organs began failing as she was rushed to the hospital. Doctors saved her life but could not save her right leg, which was amputated below the knee.

I literally was laying there, thinking my life was over. That I would never be accepted again, I could never model again — No one would look at me the same,” she told Today.

Wasser spent four months in the hospital following complications from TSS, which included gangrene and severe damage to her left foot in addition to the amputation of her right leg, People reported.

But now, Wasser has begun to accept who she is and the message she has to share. The 5’11” model has recently signed with modeling agency VISION Los Angeles and is suing the manufacturer of Kotex Natural Balance, the brand of tampon she used.

She now aspires to be a role model for people with disabilities and hopes to educate women about the potential risks of using tampons. Risks, Wasser says, she didn’t know about before using the feminine hygiene product.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 12.28.02 PM
Via Jennifer Rovero’s Instagram

“Had I known toxic shock was real, and had I seen someone that had either lost limbs or spoke about it publicly, I would have never used tampons,” Wasser told People. “This is not just about me. It’s about the future, and it’s about these young girls that use tampons all the time. If people see the pain I’ve had to go through, maybe they’ll be more cautious.”

See more photos of Wasser below: 

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 12.30.41 PM
Via Jennifer Rovero’s Instagram
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 12.53.06 PM
Via Lauren Wasser’s Instagram
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 12.52.23 PM
Via Lauren Wasser’s Instagram
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 12.31.21 PM
Via Jennifer Rovero’s Instagram
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 12.31.05 PM
Via Jennifer Rovero’s Instagram

Get more on Wasser’s story in the video below:

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Other

Why I Still Breastfeed My Medically Fragile Child

A funny thing has been happening recently, and it’s cute and sweet and sad at the same time. My baby boy, Von, is becoming simply a boy. He’s getting taller and lankier (if that’s possible), and he’s becoming a lot more independent. It’s hard at times for me to watch the change because he’s the [...]

Why I’m No Longer Skeptical About Therapy

Since I’ve started therapy 12 weeks ago, my therapist has been helping me chip away at the tall, cold stone walls I’ve built around myself to keep others — and even my own emotions — out. It’s so much easier to keep everyone out. I was a skeptic before I began therapy. I thought sitting down and [...]

A Letter to Epilepsy, From Its Frenemy

Dear Epilepsy, You’ve been with me for five years now, and it seems like you aren’t leaving anytime soon. Before I knew what you were, I was afraid of the seizures I was having. My first grand mal seizure happened at my best friend’s house when I was 14. I didn’t even know what a [...]

Chef Closes Down Stall After Complaints About Her Son With Down Syndrome

Jackie Macedo is a chef who cooks Malaysian food at the Orange Grove Markets in Sydney, Australia, SBS News reported. After Macedo, a single mother, had her 3-year-old son, Noah, who has Down syndrome, she began bringing him along because of the high cost of childcare. Via Instagram But, after 14 years of cooking at the [...]