Lauren Wasser, a model whose right leg was amputated as a result of developing toxic shock syndrome, has undergone surgery to remove her other leg.
Wasser posted a photo of herself recovering at a hospital where she received a visit from Paralympian Amy Purdy, a fellow double amputee.
“Thank you so much for stopping by it really meant the world,” Wasser wrote in an Instagram post. “Thank you for showing me that life is only going to get better and that I have so much life to live.”
Last month, Wasser, 29, revealed in an InStyle essay that she continued to live daily with excruciating pain because of her battle with toxic shock syndrome, or TSS, and had planned to undergo another amputation.
Wasser developed TSS in 2012 while on her period. The rare but potentially fatal condition is caused by toxins from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and linked to tampon use.
To save Wasser’s life at the time, doctors directed blood flow to vital organs, but they also had to amputate her right leg below the knee and her left toes.
Wasser told InStyle that while surgeons recommended amputating both legs at the time, she had opted to save her left leg.
“I have a golden leg that I am completely proud of, but my left foot has an open ulcer, no heel and no toes. Over the years, my body has produced a lot of calcium, which causes my bones to grow on that foot,” she wrote. “Basically, my brain is telling my toes to grow back — and it got to the point where I need surgery to shave the bones down because it becomes too unbearable to walk.”
Since losing her first leg, Wasser has worked to raise awareness about TSS, working with U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York on a bill that would help educate more women about the risks.
“The bill requires feminine hygiene product companies to disclose exactly what is going into these products and what their long-term health effects are,” Wasser wrote in her InStyle essay.
“I am writing this in hopes that you will understand that we, as women, need more education about TSS. It is time that we, as consumers, demand safer products and more transparency about what is going into our bodies.”
Lauren Wasser, model who lost leg to toxic shock syndrome, speaks out