An Ohio woman says she was in disbelief when she woke up from a 10-day coma to learn that both her legs and arms have been amputated after contracting an intense infection from her dog’s saliva.
Marie Trainer — who spent a total of 80 days in the hospital — told Fox 8 Cleveland that she has no recollection of what happened and that all she remembers is feeling sick.
“When I opened my eyes I didn’t know where I was,” Marie explained to the outlet.
“Then I found out everything. Being in a coma for 10 days — having this thing. My dog licked me… my dogs lick me all the time,” Marie continued, still trying to understand the series of events.
“It was very hard to find out that they had to remove my legs and my arms… very hard to cope with,” she said, holding back tears.
It all began after Marie and her husband Matthew Trainer had returned from a vacation in the Caribbean.
Marie recalls feeling nauseous and having back pain, she told Fox 8. She thought it was the flu, but she knew it was much more severe than that when her temperature began to fluctuate.
“Her temperature went up then went down to about 93 degrees, that’s when we rushed her to the hospital,” Matthew told Fox 8.
At Aultman Hospital, Marie underwent aggressive treatments, however, her condition worsened.
Within hours, she developed sepsis — the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.
“We were getting new symptoms and worsening symptoms very rapidly,” Marie’s step-daughter Gina Premier, who works as a nurse practitioner at the hospital, said.
After no improvement, Marie was placed into a medically induced coma as her limbs began to deteriorate as a result of gangrene.
When her blood tests came back, the results were shocking. Marie had been diagnosed with capnocytophaga.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, capnocytophaga is a bacteria that lives in the mouths of dogs and cats. It is spread to people through bites, scratches.
In Marie’s case, her team of doctors believes her two dogs at home may have licked a small scrape on her arm.
“[It’s] fairly common in the oral flora or the mouth of a dog and it can be transmitted through a bite or sometimes just contact with saliva,” Dr. Margaret Kobe, Medical Director of Infectious Disease at Aultman told Fox 8.
“That organism is very virulent. It has the ability to induce your immune system to do some pretty horrible things,” Kobe said to the outlet.
The disease causes a plethora of blood clots that have lead to Marie contracting gangrene and necrosis.
While doctors did their best to remove as many blood clots as possible from Marie — it was too late to save her limbs.
If doctors had not performed the amputations, Marie would have died.
“It was so rapid in progression… there was nothing they could do,” Marie’s step-daughter said.
Despite the circumstances, Marie can’t wait to be reunited with her dogs. However, she has a long road to recovery.
Marie explained to Fox 8 there’s “lots of healing to do,” but she has her family to lean on for support.
“He’s here every day for me… every day he feeds me, and dresses me here every day,” Marie said of her husband, breaking down in tears.
A GoFundMe page has been created in hopes of raising funds to cover Marie’s medical bills.
The page has raised over $6,000 at this time.