15 Jul Baker, 20, almost died of sepsis after dentist took her wis…
A baker came within 30 minutes of dying from sepsis after having seven teeth extracted so she could get a brace fitted.
Faith Hoch, 20, had all four wisdom teeth, two molars and a front tooth removed on May 30, ahead of getting a brace aimed at straightening her teeth and correcting an overbite. She suffered such severe pain that evening she got her housemate to take her to hospital.
Staff told Faith, from Lacrosse in Wisconsin, not to worry, and sent her home with pain medication.
But Faith’s twin sister Grace was so disturbed on seeing how sick and swollen her sister was the next day she insisted on taking her back to hospital.
Faith, who works as a senior baker, told Metro US: ‘I was just sleeping, and between sleeping I was vomiting, probably 12 times that day.
‘That night i was coherent enough to check my phone to see if anybody had contacted me.
‘My twin sister noticed I had gone online on Facebook and she’s like “Hey, are you OK? People have been trying to contact you, mom’s trying to call you.”
‘Shes like, “That’s not normal swelling.” That’s way too much swelling for wisdom teeth. I’m taking you to the ER.
Faith added: ‘I could barely walk to the car. I was just out of it and needed a wheelchair.
‘Grace saved my life. The doctors said that if I had waited another half hour to hour to come in to hospital I would have been dead.’
Faith was admitted with a temperature of 105F, and blood pressure so low doctors were unable to give her pain medication for the agonizing swelling she was suffering.
She was given a CT scan, and hooked up to intravenous drips.
Surgeons quickly realized from how swollen Faith was that she had sepsis – a serious complication from an infection that sees the body turn on itself, often with deadly consequences. They rushed her into an operating theater for emergency surgery.
Recalling the terrifying news she was given, Faith said: ‘(They told me) it was spreading.
‘They thought it was the start of the flesh-eating virus. They said “She’s in septic shock. We need to get this going right away.”
After surgery to clear the infection, Faith spent three days drifting in and out of consciousness in intensive care.
She suffered disturbing hallucinations about having her organs harvested, and even more painful swelling after she woke up.
It left her unable to speak, write or even type on her phone because her hands were so puffed-up.
Faith said: ‘I couldn’t talk because I had the breathing tube in. My mom gave me a whiteboard, but my body was so swollen I couldn’t hold the marker.
‘I tried to type her a message, I thought I typed out everything. “We gotta get out of here, this is a scam.”
‘I gave it to her and she said “I don’t know what this says.”‘
Faith spent another four days in a ward for seriously ill patients, before being allowed to go home.
She was desperate to return to the restaurant where she works, fearing she would fall behind on her rent, and now faces thousands in medical bills.
Recalling the after effects of the debilitating illness, Faith said: ‘I had to teach myself how to walk again.
‘I couldn’t shower alone. I had to have a nurse in there to help me.
‘I lost 25% of my muscles, and 25 pounds while i was in the hospital, so getting my strength back is going to take a really long time.’
Faith has since discovered that the tooth whose removal sparked the sepsis was her lower left wisdom tooth.
Her doctors have been unable to say why such a common, routine procedure resulted in an infection that nearly killed her. Faith has had the brackets of her upcoming brace fitted to her teeth, but cannot have the rest installed until she recovers.
Although still recovering from her gruelling experience, Faith is happy to joke about it, saying: ‘I didn’t have any issues with my teeth prior. I was just getting all the teeth removed for my braces.
‘(The dentists) didn’t really have an explanation. They said they’ve never seen anything like it. I was the first case they ever had like this.
‘My twin sister got hers out and went to the Mall of America the next day, I ended up in the hospital with sepsis.’
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