Lauren Wasser turns toxic shock syndrome awareness into a mission

Model and amputee Lauren Wasser, who’s lost one leg to toxic shock syndrome and is racked by agonizing pain, has found a mission.

She told the Washington Post that she’s raising awareness of the risk of tampons and toxic shock syndrome.

Lauren Wasser lost her right leg below the knee and expects to lose her left leg as well.

Lauren Wasser lost her right leg below the knee and expects to lose her left leg as well.

(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Wasser is spreading her message through TED talks and Instagram posts at @theimpossiblemuse, where she describes herself as a “T.S.S. Survivor, Amputee, Activist, Actress, Model.” She’s also rallying behind legislation to make sure feminine hygiene products are safe.

“I think this is my purpose and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Wasser told the Post. That said, she acknowledged that she is “in excruciating pain every day.” She expects to “inevitably” lose her other leg.

The Doctor is In: Minimize the risk of toxic shock syndrome

“My legs were everything. I had no idea what my life would be like without them,” she told the Post.

Lauren Wasser, photographed on Dec. 6, is pushing for health-related legislation to help women.

Lauren Wasser, photographed on Dec. 6, is pushing for health-related legislation to help women.

(Araya Diaz/WireImage)

Wasser’s experience began in 2012. She was 24 at the time and using tampons when she developed toxic shock syndrome, a “rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

The infection led to gangrene and her right leg was amputated below the knee. Wasser needs weekly treatments to manage the damage to her left foot.

Two years ago, Wasser sued the Kimberly-Clark Corp., which manufactures the Kotex tampons she used. The suit argued that the company was “negligently, wantonly, recklessly, tortuously, and unlawfully responsible in some manner.”

Calif. model sues Kotex after allegedly losing leg from TSS

Wasser declined to comment on the litigation. The company told the Post that “the matter had been resolved.”

Tags:
featured lifestyle
women’s health

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