She was paralyzed for caring for street cat without precaution
Rescuing animals from the street is not bad, However, on the contrary, doing so without the necessary care could cause severe consequences.
Gemma Birch, a 24-year-old girl who became seriously ill while spending her vacations in Albufeira (Portugal) in 2014, for caring for a street cat named ‘Catarina’.
“We let her into our room because she was following us everywhere. I caressed her and gave her milk”, Birch told the Daily Star.
During her last day of vacation, the young woman began to vomit uncontrollably and fainted on the flight back home. After landing, they took her to a hospital, where the doctors diagnosed that she had food poisoning possibly caused by consuming raw chicken, a strange situation considering that she was a vegetarian.
The doctors asked her if she had been in contact with any animal and she said that she had spent the last days caressing ‘Catarina’. Then it became clear that the most likely source of infection was the cat, which could have picked up a bacterium while searching through the garbage.
Birch was discharged, but a few days later she returned after feeling numbness in her legs. The doctors finally diagnosed her condition with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder that which the immune system attacks the nervous system.
The disease affected her limbs and she was bedridden.
“I lost control of my bowels and bladder and could not use my arms or hands because they were very weak” she said.
The young woman spent several months in rehabilitation, learning to walk again and returned to her normal state 14 months after the incident.
Now she still suffers from numbness and weakness every time she has an infection due to the side effects of the disease.