THIS is what happened to a teenage girl’s face after she contracted a rare bacterial infection.
Abby Harrison was left with severe swollen lips, face and throat because of the infection.
It also affected her breathing.
To combat what started as an everyday cough the 15-year-old took a dose of cough mixture.
But within hours ulcers and a cold sore had appeared on her lip, and by the evening her lip had swelled to double its size, her eyes were puffy and watery and her throat and jaw were swollen.
Tests at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham revealed she had an uncommon bacterial infection called mycoplasma, which had attached itself to her lungs making it hard for her to breathe.
They have given me my face back and I cannot thank them enough for thatAbby Harrison, 15
It meant she stayed in hospital for a week, but needed a further three weeks to recover, and didn’t return to school for a month after she was diagnosed at the end of September this year.
Abby, of Waterlooville, said: ‘I was in the lowest place when I arrived at QA.
‘I looked an absolute state and was vomiting quite badly despite not eating for several days.
‘The doctors asked me to drink a nutrition milkshake but because I hadn’t used my throat for several days, it was incredibly painful and took me over an hour to drink.
‘I stayed in hospital for a week and throughout I had to undergo breathing exercises with the physio. I cannot thank the staff at QA enough.
‘They helped me so much, not only throughout my admission but even after with follow-up appointments.
‘They have given me my face back and I cannot thank them enough for that.’
Stephen Warriner, is a consultant paediatrician at QA, and says she shouldn’t catch the infection again.
He said: ‘Mycoplasma is not common but is more prone to teenagers because they tend to be less susceptible to bacteria as they get older.
‘Now Abby has fully recovered there should be no reason to catch the infection again.’