Lauren Wasser is a shining example of how suddenly a life can change.
In a recent article, the gorgeous model and former athlete spoke out on her terrifying experience with toxic shock syndrome. For those who don't know, toxic shock syndrome is a rare yet life threatening bacterial infection that can be caused by the synthetic materials found in tampons.
At age 24, Wasser was at the top of her game — she modeled, was a familiar face of El Lay's coveted social scene, and she led a very active lifestyle. In high school, Lauren was even offered a full scholarship to play basketball at a Division 1 school. In short, life was good.
Unfortunately, LW's fortune changed for the worse after she purchased Kotex Natural Balance tampons for her period. Tampon use, like it is for most women, was an after thought for Lauren. The blonde didn't even think about why she felt "off" until she woke up in a hospital days later and near death.
The athlete recalled:
"My belly was huge. I had tubes everywhere. I couldn't speak. I thought maybe I overdosed on food. I had no clue what was happening. It's the most excruciating pain I've ever—I don't know how to describe it to you."
Next to Wasser's bed was a tube of black toxins the doctors had to remove once they realized she had toxic shock syndrome. To make matters worse, the infection got so bad that the fashionista developed gangrene. Considering the model arrived at that the hospital with a 107 degree fever and with her organs shutting down, this was sadly just the tip of the iceberg.
Upon hearing her leg would have to be removed, Lauren added:
"I thought, 'Oh my God, she's talking about me. I'm going to lose my leg'. Both of my legs were starting to mummify. I had to act quickly."
Despite the initial devastation of losing everything dear to her, the now 27-year-old is focusing on legislation to improve the quality of tampons. While Lauren says she'll never use tampons again, she's not against tampon use — she just wants companies to change the materials they use instead of slapping a "get out jail free" warning label on the products.
To make the transition into life without a leg easier, the model's photographer girlfriend, Jennifer Rovero, has taken beautiful portraits of her post-surgery. The process has acted like therapy for Wasser.
To sum her experience up, Lauren simply stated:
"I can't go on a slide, I don't really want to be in a bathing suit, I couldn't go jump in the ocean if I wanted to. That product fucked me over. You know cigarettes can kill you, so when you use them, it's your choice. Had I known all the info about TSS, I would never have used tampons."
Wow. We wish Lauren the best of luck in her recovery and with her continued advocacy for improving the safety of feminine products.
[Image via Jennifer Rovero.]
Tags: health, inspiration, lauren wasser