Mom Says Age 4 Daughter Contracted Deadly Infection After Trying on Shoes Without Socks


Bacteria are insidious things. In his book “The Ghost Map,” Steven Johnson chronicled a mid-19th-century cholera outbreak that devastated London.

One of the most fascinating parts of his account was how the scientific establishment of the day believed that illness was caused by bad air or “miasmas.” They viewed proponents of the new germ theory as more or less unhinged.

Though it sounds ridiculous to us today, it’s not hard to see why. It must’ve seemed quite a stretch to imagine that an invisible world existed right before our very eyes, a world positively teeming with tiny creepy crawlies that could render us ill without warning.

Of course, we know all about germs today, but their abundance and potency can still catch us off guard. Just think about what happened to Jodie Thomas and her daughter Sienna Rasul.

WPIX reported that trouble started when little 4-year-old Sienna was trying on shoes at a local store. The U.K. mother and daughter thought nothing of slipping on new clompers without wearing any socks.

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Yet that oversight could’ve claimed her life. The New York Post stated that she started feeling poorly a mere day after her outing.

“By the next day, it had spread up her leg and her temperature was raging,” Thomas said, according to The Sun. “I drove her straight in to hospital.

“She was shaking and twitching. It was horrible to see my little girl like that.”

When the doctors finished examining the 4-year-old, they had a shocker of a diagnosis for Thomas: Her daughter had sepsis.

For those not aware, sepsis is a system-wide inflammatory response caused by a reaction to infection. Healthline describes the condition as essentially an immune system sent into overdrive.

Physiological responses indented to fight bacteria start attacking the body itself rather than the germs. In the United States, it kills a quarter of a million people every year.

Horribly enough, Sienna’s physicians thought that she likely contracted sepsis while trying on those shoes. They guessed that she likely had a small abrasion or cut that she wasn’t aware of at the time.

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Thomas originally said that they “thought they would have to operate. But the doctors have managed to drain all the pus from her leg and say the antibiotic drip will do the job.

“Sienna has been really ill. The infection was moving up her leg and spreading to the rest of her body.”

Though Thomas said she was aware you could get athlete’s foot from trying on shoes, but not sepsis. She’s urging parents to carry an extra pair of kids socks when shopping.

Dr. Ron Daniels, who heads the U.K. Sepsis Trust, also urged mothers and fathers to take extra care, saying, “This frightening case shows us that sepsis strikes indiscriminately and can affect anyone at any time. Whenever there are signs of infection, it’s crucial that members of the public seek medical attention urgently and just ask: ‘Could it be sepsis?’”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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