Teenager loses lower legs and all 10 fingers after eating friend's leftovers

Teenager loses lower legs and all 10 fingers after eating friend's leftovers

Related video: Here's why people hate eating leftovers


A shocking health story from New England in the US has resurfaced online this weekend, concerning a 19-year-old man who ate a friend’s leftover chicken, rice and lo mein noodles, before having all 10 fingers and his lower legs amputated.

While the individual has not been named, a description of their case was published in March 2021 in the New EnglandJournal of Medicine. Its title confirms the man suffered shock, a rash and multiple organ failure.

“The abdominal pain and vomiting were followed by the development of chills, generalized weakness, progressively worsening diffuse myalgias [widespread muscle pain], chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, neck stiffness, and blurry vision.

“Five hours before this admission, purplish discoloration of the skin developed, and a friend took the patient to the emergency department of another hospital for evaluation,” the paper reads.

Over time, the patient’s rapid breathing or ‘tachypnea’ worsened, while low blood oxygen and blue or grey skin (cyanosis) developed.

He was eventually admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit at another hospital, at which point health professionals learned his friend who had eaten the meal the night before threw up shortly afterwards, but his illness did not worsen.

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It was also revealed via his family members that he smoked two packets of cigarettes weekly, smoked marijuana every day, drank alcohol twice a week, and took cough and antihistamine medication recreationally.

One doctor cited in the report, Dr Pavan K Bendapudi, noted that the diagnosis was purpura fulminans – a fatal syndrome which causes the death of skin cells or ‘necrosis – due to meningococcaemia, a type of blood poisoning.

Doctors learned during the teen’s hospitalisation that he only had a single dose of the “meningococcal conjugate vaccine”, with no booster.

At one point a pacemaker was placed in the patient before being removed after almost two weeks in the hospital, but his stay culminated in the loss of his fingers and lower legs due to necrosis to these areas and gangrene.

Doctors concluded the paper by writing the individual ended up making a “good recovery” from the illness.

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