Welcome home smooches left this Ohio woman a paraplegic.
When hair stylist Marie Trainer returned from a Caribbean vacation May 10 with her husband, their two dogs excitedly greeted them with lots of licks.
“My dogs lick me all the time,” Trainer tells Fox 8 Cleveland.
But by the next night, Marie was exhibiting flu-like symptoms, feeling nauseous and achy, with her temperature rising and then plummeting to 93 degrees — at which point hubby Matthew Trainer rushed her to the emergency room.
In critical care at Aultman Hospital, doctors quickly realized Marie had sepsis, an immune response to infection, and her condition was deteriorating.
“If we did not proceed with the amputations, it was going to lead to her death, and quickly,” Marie’s step-daughter Gina Premier, a nurse practitioner at Aultman, tells Fox.
Marie was put into a medically induced coma, with large blood clots forming and restricting her blood flow, causing necrosis and gangrene and forcing doctors to amputate her hands and legs.
“It was so rapid in progression,” says Premier. “There was nothing they could do.”
Trainer was in a coma for 10 days, had a total of eight surgeries, and spent 80 days in the hospital — but she lived.
“It was very hard to find out when they first told me, and that they had to remove my legs and my arms,” says Marie, her eyes welling with tears. Her last memory before being hospitalized is laying down on her couch, feeling unwell. “I mean, what do you do? [It’s] very hard to cope with.”
Doctors suspect the life-changing ordeal happened because one of the Trainers’ dogs infected a small scrape on Marie’s arm with its saliva — and a bacteria called capnocytophaga. These germs live in the mouths of canines and cats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s fairly common in the aural flora in the mouth of a dog,” infectious disease expert Dr. Margaret Kobe tells the outlet. “It can be transmitted through a bite, or sometimes just contact with saliva.”
Such an extreme reaction, though, is quite rare. “It has that ability to induce your immune system to do some pretty horrible things,” Kobe says, but usually doesn’t.
In 2014, a mother of two died from septic shock after her pet terrier infected her via a small cut on her hand. In 2018, two different Wisconsinites contracted the infection from their pet dogs’ saliva — one man required all of his limbs amputated as a result, and the other died.
Despite it all, the Trainers don’t blame their fur babies.
“We still love our animals,” Matthew says.
Friends of the family have launched the “Trainer Strong” GoFundMe campaign to help cover the medical expenses and prosthetic limbs for Marie. As of Thursday afternoon, $14,625 had been raised.
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