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Hot tub infection nearly cost an Indianapolis woman her leg

Posted at 8:56 AM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 16:09:09-04

(NOTE: The video above has some images that may be disturbing to some viewers.)

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis woman says she nearly lost her leg after using a hot tub while on vacation.

Taylor Bryant is finally able to walk after a debilitating infection in her right leg that started on a spring break trip to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. with her family.

"We got down there Sunday evening and I started feeling sick on Wednesday," Bryant said.

By Thursday, she decided to get her leg checked out, and she ended up in the hospital. Doctors asked if she had been hiking. She hadn't, and they wanted to know what she had been doing.

"Every night, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, we were in the hot tub, and she was like, 'That's the only way I thought you could get this infection was from a hot tub,'" Bryant said.

Doctors told her it was possibly pseudomonas folliculitis, a bacteria found in pools and hot tubs that haven't been cleaned properly. She was given antibiotics and told to go straight back to Indianapolis to see her doctor.

"He started me on another oral antibiotic and I did those for 10 days," Bryant said.

She couldn't walk and had to use a wheelchair to get around. Doctos called in wound and infection specialists as Bryant's leg got worse.

"My husband even asked, 'Are we gonna be able to fight this off? Are we talking about amputation?" she said. "They were like, 'There's nothing that we can promise right now.'"

The young mother was terrified.

"You're literally thinking at that point that it's possible you're going to lose your leg," Bryant said. "I was a bawling mess in the room. I was like, I could be without a leg at 26."

Doctors started her on IV antibiotics for 20 hours a day for four days.

"Within 24 hours you could already see some of it dying down," Bryant said.

The Mayo Clinic said pseudomonas folliculitis is common and results in inflamed hair follicles. The clinic recommends that patients should see a doctor if the infection doesn't improve in a few days.

Shaving can also increase vulnerability to pseudomonas folliculitis

"When you shave your legs you are breaking skin; so that's opening areas on your legs," Bryant said.

The CDC recommends draining and cleaning hot tubs at least monthly.

"If it's not properly clean it's gonna stick against the walls of the hot tub," Bryant said. "I don't think I could ever do a hot tub."

This story was originally published by Graham Hunter on WRTV in Indianapolis.