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Young man sat in a wheelchair for months

24-year-old paralyzed after caressing a lost cat

A British girl from Australia caressed a vagrant cat in Portugal and ended up in a wheelchair. Apparently, the 24-year-old was infected by touching the animal with the Campylobacter bacteria, which meant he could not walk for months.

Bacterial infection puts the girl in the wheelchair

Especially in cats, many animal lovers can not stop caressing. This was also the case of Gemma Birch from Southport in northwestern England, but then something happened that only touched some of the animals. For the 24-year-old, when caressing a street cat, he contracted a bacterial infection that resulted in his landing in a wheelchair.

A young woman was infected while caressing a cat with Campylobacter bacteria. The infection started at 24 years in a wheelchair. (Image: Saklakova /

Campylobacterial bacteria detected in the stool

According to a report in the British Mirror newspaper, Gemma Birch, aged 24, contracted an infection during a holiday in Portugal in 2014, which caused him to stay temporarily paralyzed in the paintings.

According to the blogger, he was in Albufeira, where he met a deviant cat who became a friend.

However, the love of animals was deadly: on the last day of his flight, she vomited again and again and fainted the return flight.

Back in the UK, he was taken to Southport hospital, where doctors finally found that their deposition contained the Campylobacter bacteria.

These germs are usually found mainly in chicken meat.

Symptoms of the infection by Campylobacter

Campylobacter infections can cause inflammatory bowel disease, which is accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and fever.

Nausea and vomiting are also possible, blood in feces and additional complaints such as headache and body aches, chills or fatigue.

In rare cases, the complication of campylobacteriosis is Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disease of the nervous system. The 24-year-old woman was one of those rare cases.

The disease attacks the nervous system

According to the report of the newspaper, Gemma Birch was released from the hospital after a week. But his father quickly regained it after he slept in his legs in the middle of the night.

The doctors diagnosed the patient with Guillain-Barré's syndrome: a condition in which the body's own immune system attacks its own nervous system.

As a result, the blogger spent four months at a rehabilitation clinic and only returned to his normal being after 14 months.

"I had to have nurses to go to the bathroom and wash myself. I lost control of my bowel and bladder and I could not use my arms and hands because they were so weak," the girl explained.

She assumes that she contracted the cat infection in Portugal, which could collect the germs while in junk cans.

That this is obvious, among other things, an older study, which was published in the "Canadian Medical Association Journal".

The researchers reported that four-legged friends could transmit harmful pathogens to humans, for example, by bites and scratches, or even licking the animal on their faces.

The patient was more careful

Gemma Birch became more careful after her long term.

"As much as the owner, I could not touch a lost cat at this time. I love pet cats and animals," said the 24-year-old.

However, she would also expect "they did not rummaged in the hotel's containers."

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