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Mother loses her hands, feet, nose, lips after being bitten by mongoose

A mother lost her hands, feet, nose, lips and tip of her tongue to sepsis after she was bitten between her thumb and index finger by a mongoose.

36-year-old, Shaninlea Visser from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, cleaned her wound after she was attacked at her former boss’s home and thought nothing of it.


But, after two days, the mother, who has a 13-year-old daughter, collapsed feeling like her hands and feet were on fire, and was rushed to hospital.

Doctors put her into an 11-day coma as they fought to save her life and carried out the amputations.

The mother has now had to learn to walk again and been through 66 reconstructive operations. She is scheduled for a further jaw operation in April.

WARNING: Graphic picture

‘The doctor did blood tests but they couldn’t pinpoint exactly what caused the sepsis,’ Shaninlea Visser said, ‘but being bitten by the mongoose two days before is most likely to be the cause’.

“I never expected what was about to happen – I was feeling nauseous, had an upset stomach but then I fainted a few times.”

Visser said my colleagues found me and my ex boss rushed me to hospital as I was in excruciating pain with my hands and feet and it felt as if they were on fire.

WARNING: Graphic picture

‘I was put in a coma for 11 days while my kidneys, liver and other vital organs were failing.

Shan was bitten by the mongoose three years ago and was placed into the induced coma on 19 January 2017 after she was diagnosed with sepsis and Disseminated intravascular coagulation.

Doctors amputated both legs below the knee on February 6, both arms below the elbow on February 8 and her nose and lips were removed on February 17.



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