A California mum lost all four limbs after contracting a horrific infection from undercooked fish.
Laura Barajas, 40, had her limbs amputated after she ate tilapia, which carried a bacterial strain.
The mum, who has a six-year-old son, became sick in late July after she ate the fish from a local market in San Jose.
While the amputations saved Barajas’s life, her friend is raising money as she adjusts to her disability.
Speaking to News19, Barajas’ friend Anna Messina said: “It’s just been really heavy on all of us.
“It’s terrible. This could’ve happened to any of us. She almost lost her life. She was on a respirator.”
Messina then explained that doctors had to “put her into a medically induced coma”.
She added: “Her fingers were black, her feet were black her bottom lip was black. She had complete sepsis and her kidneys were failing.”
Messina has since set up a GoFundMe page to help her friend cover medical costs and ongoing care needs.
She said on the page, which has raised $38,069 as of writing: “This family is in desperate need of our help.
“While Jose has health benefits through his work, it remains uncertain whether they will cover Laura, his partner of eight years.
“Jose’s paid time off (PTO) has been exhausted, and the Family Disability program provides only 60 percent of his normal income.
“The mounting hospital bills are overwhelming, and Laura’s physical condition will necessitate significant changes to their lives as they adapt to her new circumstances.”
The infection is believed to have been caused by vibrio vulnificus, a bacterial infection the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have sounded the alarm on in recent weeks.
Between 150 to 200 cases of the infections are reported each year, the CDC said, and around one in five people with the infection die.
Signs and symptoms of vibrio vulnificus infection can include watery diarrhea, along with stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
If the infection was contracted via the bloodstream, patients can suffer fever, chills, dangerously low blood pressure, and blistering skin lesions.
For wound infections, which may spread to the rest of the body, people experience fever, redness, pain, swelling, warmth, discoloration, and discharge.
The infection is treated with antibiotics. Doctors may need to amputate a patient’s legs or arms to remove dead or infected tissue.
Follow our social media accounts here on facebook.com/ExpressUSNews and @ExpressUSNews