15-Year-Old Girl Almost Loses Her Life To Toxic Shock Syndrome

15-Year-Old Girl Almost Loses Her Life To Toxic Shock Syndrome

Angela Markus

You probably see the warnings every time you purchase a box of tampons, but no one ever really thinks that it could happen to them.

Fifteen-year-old Rylie Whitten was just like any other teenage girl enjoying the first day back at school from winter break.

She came down with flu-like symptoms, but at first there was no cause for concern.

When the symptoms progressed from aches to vomiting and severe pain, her parents knew something was very wrong.

Rylie’s parents were quick in their decision to take her to the hospital, and it was there that they discovered the teen was suffering from Toxic Shock Syndrome.

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The apparent cause was a tampon. Because her infections were critically severe, Rylie was heavily sedated and on life support, receiving kidney dialysis, and a steady diet of powerful medications to counteract the devastating effects to her organs, including her heart and lungs.


After a couple of weeks, there were signs of hope. Rylie’s health is now beginning to improve and she is functioning without life support.

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The Center for Disease Control says that Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) began receiving national attention in the eighties when unexplained febrile illness associated with shock, multiple organ dysfunctions, and an increase in death rates was reported in healthy young women across the country. The illness can be described as a very grave but uncommon infection caused by exposure to bacterial toxins.

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To reduce your exposure of TSS, toxicshock.com advises women to use a tampon with the lowest absorbency suitable for your period flow and make use of a sanitary towel or panty liner from time to time during your period.

Please keep Rylie in your thoughts and prayers.

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