Monmouth teen hospitalized with Toxic Shock

Monmouth teen hospitalized with Toxic Shock

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by KGW staff

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kgw.com

Posted on December 8, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Updated Saturday, Dec 8 at 11:33 AM

MONMOUTH, Ore. -- The family of a Monmouth 18-year-old says she’s in critical condition and they still don't know what made her so sick. The once active Sunday school teacher has been in the hospital for almost two weeks.

Tabitha Schulke had what seemed like the flu but now she has lost both of her legs near the knee.

"Thanksgiving morning she woke up with about 104 temperature but then Friday it was down a bit. Saturday it was back to 101, and by Saturday night she was being rushed to the hospital,” said Janie Zimmerman, Tabitha’s Aunt.

Zimmerman said it was Toxic Shock that transformed the teen but what made Tabitha sick so suddenly is still a mystery.

"We thought we were going to lose her more than once," Zimmerman said. "I mean the night before she got sick she was delivering food baskets with her church for the needy."

Dr. Kenneth Melvin said Toxic Shock is rare but progresses quickly, and a drop in blood pressure from the shock is what can cost patients their arms or legs.

"There can be a rash that can develop sometimes on the extremities, hands, feet and sometimes in the mouth," Melvin said. "The profusion of normal blood flow doesn't happen and that's basically where things go crazy in a hurry."

There have been encouraging signs from the teen in recent days and she is reacting more than anyone thought she would, Zimmerman said.

Tabitha’s family is hopeful that she will recover, and test results might help determine the cause of her infection.

KGW reporter Cathy Marshall contributed to this report.

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