NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Tennessee woman is warning others after she says she contracted flesh-eating bacteria from a nail salon.
Jayne Sharp, of Knoxville, was getting a manicure earlier this year when she felt a prick. She said she didn't think anything of it. Within hours, Sharp says her thumb started to swell and she felt like she had the flu.
Sharp spoke with one of her daughters who is an RN about what was happening and her daughter told Sharp to go to the doctor. The nurse practitioner used a marker to track the thumb's swelling. The next morning the swelling extended to her elbow. She was sent to the emergency room.
"The doctors told us had I waited another hour it might not be a good situation," said Sharp, "I think of the man in Florida was dead in 48 hours from flesh eating bacteria."
Sharp underwent multiple surgeries in Knoxville and Nashville. They told her it was flesh-eating bacteria. It took her months to feel normal and her thumb is still numb.
"I'm lucky to be alive," said Sharp.
Sharp is suing the nail salon.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist with Vanderbilt, tells us these kinds of infections are quite rare but they do happen. Bacteria is introduced under the skin through some sort of cut or injury. That's why it's key to keep your wounds clean. Another tip is to not shave your lower legs 24 hours before getting a pedicure but after your pedicure because if you nick yourself while shaving, a pedicure could put you at risk for an infection.
Warning: Graphic photos at the top of the page.