NYC woman is sharing her story and reuniting with the surgeon who performed a life-saving liver transplant for her after having a near-death experience linked to an infection she had from her nose ring.
37-year-old Dana Smith of Queens got a nose ring last Thanksgiving that ultimately led her to the emergency room almost causing her life. A few days after getting the ring in she wasn't feeling well. "I was just drinking water, I couldn't hold the water down," she said. "I guess at some point I started to throw up blood." Smith blamed it on the stress from the holiday season and ignored her problems.
On January 12th the mother asked her sister to bring her to Long Island Jewish Medical Center. She doesn't remember the visit, all she knows is that she woke up to a doctor telling her she had a new liver. "That one decision saved my life," Smith said. "It's very overwhelming. Emotionally, everything, mentally."
After getting tested it was concluded that Smith was sick from fulminant Hepatitis B, a very rare condition in which the patient is sent into immediate liver failure, according to abc news. Smith was then brought to North Shore University Hospital. Her brain swelling from the Hepatitis B caused seizures and so it was decided by doctors to place her in a medically induced coma.
Smith was placed on a transplant list and had a match within 48 hours. She was able to come home to her family on January 26th.
For a healthy young woman this illness is very rare... It was only until the doctors removed her mask to see her small, studded nose ring that they realized the cause of all this. By ruling out everything else, the team concluded that the illness was due to an infection from her nose ring that gave her fulminant Hepatitis B.
"This was the one unique change that had taken place in her life, this nose ring, Dr. Teperman said. "And it's the perfect time for the virus to incubate."
Smith wants everyone to monitor their health closely and to not avoid coming to the hospital right now if you aren't feeling well. If she had even waited two more days to go to the emergency room, her story would have a different ending.