Toxic Shock Syndrome Puts Teen on Life Support

'It attacks everything so fast'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2016 4:29 PM CST
Toxic Shock Syndrome Puts Teen on Life Support
Rylie Whitten, 15, has been hospitalized for two weeks with one of the worst cases of toxic shock syndrome ever seen in Michigan.   (Screenshot)

A Michigan teen is still on partial life support almost two weeks after she was hospitalized with one of the worst cases of toxic shock syndrome the area has ever seen, WZZM reports. Fifteen-year-old Rylie Whitten started feeling sick Jan. 4. According to the Greenville Daily News, she thought she had the flu. But things got worse after two days in bed, and her family sought medical attention. Within the hour, Whitten was being airlifted to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, WZZM reports. "You have the cardiovascular system failing, lungs failing," Dr. Surender Rajasekaran at DeVos says. "It was very serious." According to the Daily News, Whitten was put into a medically induced coma and onto life support.

Toxic shock syndrome is typically the result of infections caused by tampons, which appears to have been the case with Whitten, the Daily News reports. “It shuts down all of your organs; it basically kills you," Whitten's father Nathan Whitten says. "It attacks everything so fast.” Doctors at DeVos say Whitten's is the worst case of toxic shock syndrome they've ever seen. Despite still being on partial life support, Whitten appears to be improving, according to WZZM. But the Daily News notes her "road to recovery will be long." Toxic shock syndrome is rarer today than it was in the 1980s, after an increase in warnings on tampons and the removal of some products, according to WZZM. A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $4,000 for Rylie. (Toxic shock syndrome proved deadly for this seemingly healthy woman.)

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