Over $40,000 raised for mom who lost all her limbs after developing bacterial infection from 'bad tilapia'

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By stefan armitage

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Donations have been flooding in for a California mom who tragically lost all of her limbs after battling a bacterial infection.

Laura Barajas, 40, was rushed to hospital two months ago - one day after she had "purchased fish from a local market in San Jose", according to her friend Anna Messina.

As reported by the New York Post, the mom-of-one was soon diagnosed with vibrio vulnificus, an infection that the CDC warns kills 1 in 5 people who develop it, "sometimes within a day or two of becoming ill".

On Thursday, Barajas underwent life-saving surgery following a months-long stay in the hospital. Sadly, she is now a quadruple amputee and must learn to live with the life-altering impact of her treatment.

Messina told KRON 4: "It’s just been really heavy on all of us. It’s terrible. This could’ve happened to any of us." Messina continued: "She almost lost her life. She was on a respirator. They put her into a medically induced coma. Her fingers were black, her feet were black her bottom lip was black. She had complete sepsis and her kidneys were failing."

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$40,000 has been raised for the mom. Credit: GoFundMe

Her close friend has since launched a GoFundMe page for Barajas, writing: "I'm reaching out to you today to ask for your support for a dear friend and coworker, Jose Valdez, and his partner, Laura Barajas. Their lives have taken an unexpected and devastating turn, and we are hoping that together, we can make a difference for this loving family."

Messina explains in the fundraiser description that Laura had "purchased fish from a local market in San Jose and cooked herself dinner after a long day. Little did she know that this simple act would change her life forever. The following day, Laura realized something was terribly wrong, and she was diagnosed with vibrio vulnificus, a dangerous bacterial infection."

"On September 13, 2023, all four of Laura's limbs had to be removed in order to save her life," the heartbreaking description adds. "Throughout this incredibly challenging time, Jose has been right by her side, providing unwavering support."

As a result of Barajas' treatments, the family has been faced with growing medical bills - unsure if Valdez's work health benefits will cover the costs.

"Jose's paid time off (PTO) has been exhausted, and the Family Disability program provides only 60% of his normal income," Messina writes. "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."

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The mom is now a quadruple amputee. Credit: GoFundMe/KRON 4

As a result, the GoFundMe was launched and over $40,000 has already been raised in just three days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued an urgent public health alert concerning the risks associated with bacterial infections, most notably vibrio vulnificus, as reported by USA Today.

This bacteria can be contracted either through the consumption of undercooked or raw fish or by exposing open wounds to coastal waters. Shockingly, the CDC revealed that "at least a dozen people have died from the infection across the country this year."

According to UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Natasha Spottiswoode, the bacteria poses an especially elevated risk to those with compromised immune systems. Dr. Spottiswoode explained: "The ways you can get infected with this bacteria are one — you can eat something that’s contaminated with it the other way is by having a cut or tattoo exposed to water in which this bug lives."

The CDC estimates approximately 150-200 such cases occur annually in the US.

In light of this devastating incident, Messina has urged the public to take preventive steps. "People should take sensible precautions like if you have a cut avoid getting immersed in water until it’s well healed," she advised. She also added: "Be thankful for what we have right now because it can be taken away so quickly so easily."

Our thoughts go out to Barajas and we wish her the very best on her continued recovery.

Featured image credit: GoFundMe

Over $40,000 raised for mom who lost all her limbs after developing bacterial infection from 'bad tilapia'

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Donations have been flooding in for a California mom who tragically lost all of her limbs after battling a bacterial infection.

Laura Barajas, 40, was rushed to hospital two months ago - one day after she had "purchased fish from a local market in San Jose", according to her friend Anna Messina.

As reported by the New York Post, the mom-of-one was soon diagnosed with vibrio vulnificus, an infection that the CDC warns kills 1 in 5 people who develop it, "sometimes within a day or two of becoming ill".

On Thursday, Barajas underwent life-saving surgery following a months-long stay in the hospital. Sadly, she is now a quadruple amputee and must learn to live with the life-altering impact of her treatment.

Messina told KRON 4: "It’s just been really heavy on all of us. It’s terrible. This could’ve happened to any of us." Messina continued: "She almost lost her life. She was on a respirator. They put her into a medically induced coma. Her fingers were black, her feet were black her bottom lip was black. She had complete sepsis and her kidneys were failing."

size-large wp-image-1263228818
$40,000 has been raised for the mom. Credit: GoFundMe

Her close friend has since launched a GoFundMe page for Barajas, writing: "I'm reaching out to you today to ask for your support for a dear friend and coworker, Jose Valdez, and his partner, Laura Barajas. Their lives have taken an unexpected and devastating turn, and we are hoping that together, we can make a difference for this loving family."

Messina explains in the fundraiser description that Laura had "purchased fish from a local market in San Jose and cooked herself dinner after a long day. Little did she know that this simple act would change her life forever. The following day, Laura realized something was terribly wrong, and she was diagnosed with vibrio vulnificus, a dangerous bacterial infection."

"On September 13, 2023, all four of Laura's limbs had to be removed in order to save her life," the heartbreaking description adds. "Throughout this incredibly challenging time, Jose has been right by her side, providing unwavering support."

As a result of Barajas' treatments, the family has been faced with growing medical bills - unsure if Valdez's work health benefits will cover the costs.

"Jose's paid time off (PTO) has been exhausted, and the Family Disability program provides only 60% of his normal income," Messina writes. "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."

size-large wp-image-1263228727
The mom is now a quadruple amputee. Credit: GoFundMe/KRON 4

As a result, the GoFundMe was launched and over $40,000 has already been raised in just three days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued an urgent public health alert concerning the risks associated with bacterial infections, most notably vibrio vulnificus, as reported by USA Today.

This bacteria can be contracted either through the consumption of undercooked or raw fish or by exposing open wounds to coastal waters. Shockingly, the CDC revealed that "at least a dozen people have died from the infection across the country this year."

According to UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Natasha Spottiswoode, the bacteria poses an especially elevated risk to those with compromised immune systems. Dr. Spottiswoode explained: "The ways you can get infected with this bacteria are one — you can eat something that’s contaminated with it the other way is by having a cut or tattoo exposed to water in which this bug lives."

The CDC estimates approximately 150-200 such cases occur annually in the US.

In light of this devastating incident, Messina has urged the public to take preventive steps. "People should take sensible precautions like if you have a cut avoid getting immersed in water until it’s well healed," she advised. She also added: "Be thankful for what we have right now because it can be taken away so quickly so easily."

Our thoughts go out to Barajas and we wish her the very best on her continued recovery.

Featured image credit: GoFundMe