‘Please learn the signs of Toxic Shock Syndrome’ begs mum of teen swimmer who died after using tampons

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The mum of a teenager who died from sepsis while on her period is begging people to learn the danger signs of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Jemma-Louise Roberts, 13, began feeling unwell with sickness and diarrhoea while on a family holiday – and was wrongly diagnosed with winter vomiting bug Norovirus.

Her family were told to keep her away from hospitals – but she was rushed to Wigan Infirmary after suddenly deteriorating.

Doctors at the hospital told her family they believed she had Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, caused by a bacteria linked to using tampons.

Jemma-Louise, a member of Hindley Swimming Club and competitive breaststroke swimmer, had begun using tampons as a more convenient way to keep training while on her period.

She died a week later after being transferred first to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and then Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Jemma-Louise’s mum Diane Roberts, 45, is now speaking out to warn others of TSS danger signs as part of World Sepsis Week.

Early symptoms are a high fever followed by flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

A rash across the body can then appear and TSS can cause fatal organ failure if left untreated.

Diane said: “TSS used to be talked about in the eighties but you never hear it now.

“If it can save just one more person it will be worth it.

“My husband had never heard of TSS – if one dad reads this and his daughter falls ill, it could save her life.”

Read Manchester Evening News

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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