NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 3:49 PM
A courageous 15-year-old Michigan girl is fighting for her life after contracting toxic shock syndrome, which is often caused by the use of tampons.
Rylie Whitten became ill earlier this month when she was set to return to school in Greenville after winter break.
“She was lying in bed,” her father Nate told WZZM. “All the sudden, she was moaning. This is not Rylie at all.”
Not long after taking their daughter to the emergency room in Greenville, the parents saw their daughter urgently airlifted to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
“So, you have the cardiovascular system failing, lungs failing, so it’s pretty serious; in her case, it was very serious,” Dr. Surender Rajasekaran, who took over her case, told the station.
Rylie suffered from a serious infection that led to toxic shock syndrome, doctors said. “The general incidence in this country is one in 100,000,” infectious diseases doctor Daliya Khuo told WZZM.
There are a few cases of toxic shock syndrome each year in western Michigan, and they are usually related to tampon use, doctors say.
“The number of hours you have a tampon in and the number of days you’ve used tampons is associated with increased risk,” Dr. Khuon told the station.
Rylie is slowly being taken off life support and seems to be progressing. As she continues her fight, members of the community are showing their support with “Pray for Rylie” messages outside their businesses. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for her family.
The Greenville community shows their love for Rylie.
Tampons have been known to lead to a deadly disease.
“It’s going to bring tears to my eyes right now,” her dad told WZZM. “You drive through, and the amount of community support — that is so awesome.”
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