A Brazilian girl has been left in a wheelchair for life after suffering a bacterial infection when she got her nose pierced.
Layane Dias had her nose pierced in July 2018 when she was 20 years old and she says the piercing bled and was swollen at the time but she thought nothing of it.
At first she thought the infection was a spot, but it led to a fever and after it disappeared she began to feel serious pain in her legs.
The pain in her legs soon developed into a feeling of numbness in her entire body which prevented her from walking.
Doctors were reportedly struggling to give her an exact diagnosis until they discovered the bacteria ‘Staphylococcus aureus’ in her bloodstream.
Ms Dias then says the doctors asked her if she had any cuts on her nose as that is the area of the body the bacteria normally develops in and she then revealed she had received the piercing weeks before.
Due to the seriousness of her condition she was taken to the Hospital Institute de Base in the Brazilian capital Brasilia where an MRI scan showed Ms Dias had 500 millilitres of pus compressing three vertebrae in her spinal cord.
She told local media: ‘I thought it was a spot, but it caused a fever. I treated it myself, I put creams on it and a week later it disappeared.’
‘I could not feel anything from the breasts down’, she told .
She had to undergo emergency surgery and the neurosurgeon responsible, Oswaldo Ribeiro Marquez, told local media that he had never seen that kind of bacterial infection caused by a piercing in his 15-year medical career.
The emergency surgery managed to stop the infection spreading and eventually killing her, but Ms Dias has been left without the use of her legs.
Marquez said: ‘The pus could have caused an infection which may have been fatal. When the liquid was removed, her marrow decompressed and this prevented her condition from worsening.’
Ms Dias was released from the hospital two months later and was shocked to learn she would be in a wheelchair for life.
She said: ‘I was devastated. At the start, it was a very sad situation. My life changed a lot but I felt happy when I left the hospital as I was not there anymore.
‘I have met other young people in wheelchairs and I have seen that I can be happy like this [in a wheelchair]. Now I’m doing exercise like playing basketball and handball.’
Alessandra Romiti, a dermatologist consulted by local media, said that issues with piercings usually come from the place where the piercing was carried out, adding: ‘The patient should take care that the place is clean and avoid any risk of contamination.’
Ms Dias had previously had three piercings on the right side of her nose, but then decided to switch and have one on the left. It was this new piercing that became infected.
It is unclear where Ms Dias received the piercing.