Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

"Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by bacteria getting into the body and releasing harmful toxins. It's often associated with tampon use in young women, but it can affect anyone of any age – including men and children.

One of Tulipon's attributes is it's antibacterial coating, to prevent, as much as possible, the occurrence of TSS. Since we started working on Tulipon, again and again we heard that TSS is very rare so no one really cares about it. In fact, when searching on the CDC website under the letter "T" you can not find a TSS listing. 

So, we have decided to dedicate this page to all those who have suffered and in some cases died from TSS simply because they used tampons. They were healthy with no background conditions, and only wanted to handle a natural bodily fluid.

Our goal is to collect as many possible names, if you know of more, pls send us to: info@galsbio.com 

The following is dedicated to the memory of all of the women who died, and to the health of those who nearly died  from TSS caused from tampons. And to those who will die and will be sick in the future from TSS caused by tampons. Our heart is filled with grief and sorrow for your pointless and  avoidable pain.   

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Lauren Wasser (2012)

Probably the most well known TSS survivor  , LA model Lauren Wasser. Lauren lost both of here legs to TSS only because she used a tampon to handle her bleeding in 2012

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Sara Manitoski  2001-2017

16 years old Sara Manitoski dead during a school trip from TSS caused by a tampon

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Ellie Makin (2021)

19 years old Ellie almost died on 24th Nov. 2021 from TSS because she fell asleep with a tampon. The doctor sent her home, saying she only has a flue.

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Amy Elifritz 1989-2010

Amy from Columbus Indiana died 3 days after using a tampon. here mother said: "Of course I'd heard of toxic shock syndrome, but it never crossed my mind when she started getting sick. I don't think anybody thinks about it, but it's much more common than people know," 

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Deborah Usher (2011)

Deborah Usher, a 27-year-old mum-of-one from Porthmadog in Wales, was in a coma for a week in 2011 after suffering from Toxic Shock Syndrome – a rare condition caused by tampons.

Although she survived the ordeal, she was left with severe memory loss – meaning she now forgets things just weeks after they happen.

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Greta Zarate  (2019)

"Mother develops life-threatening toxic shock syndrome from using tampon. Zarate’s body went into septic shock, causing her body’s vital organs to shut down. She had to stay in hospital for 11 days, undergoing a blood transfusion to restore her body’s red blood cells and to stop the infection spreading further through her blood stream." 

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Jemma-Louise Roberts  2001-2014

13 years old Jemma from Manchester, England, had begun using tampons as a more convenient way to keep training her swimming while on her period. In 2014 Jemma died from TSS caused by a tampon

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Peyton Caples (2016)

In 2016 then the 15 year old Payton from California almost died from TSS."I started feeling sick right when I used a tampon – not from having it in longer than you're supposed to," she said. "I started feeling really faint and nauseated"

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Becca Bedford (2015)

"SCHOOLGIRL'S SHOCK I was rushed to hospital with no pulse, blind & dying – a TAMPON caused toxic shock syndrome, we thought it was the flu" Becca was 16 in 2015 when she got TSS from her tampon. 

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Phoebee Bambury (2017)

Phoebee Bambury a student, 19, who put her severe headache down to 'exam stress' is left fighting for life after a TAMPON gave her a deadly infection

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Madalyn Massabni 1998-2017

"I was holding her and she looked at me and closed her eyes ... I was yelling, 'I love you so much. Please don't leave me,'" Massabni said. "She had a heart attack in my arms and stopped breathing." Madalyn died March 30, three days after her 19th birthday.

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Kristina Makris (2018)

A make-up artist nearly died when she developed toxic shock syndrome after switching to organic tampons.

Kristina Makris, 33, woke on January 15 with a pounding headache and feeling like she had 'been hit by a truck'.

After being sent home from a walk-in clinic with 'flu', Ms Makris was rushed to Lahey Hospital, Massachusetts, when she started vomiting bile non-stop for ten minutes.

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Tallina Metts (1989)

APRIL 1989. "Not everyone that lost their life or nearly lost their life to tampons, forgot to change or slept in them. I didn't. And I still nearly died. I did everything right, nearly died and lost my ability to carry my own children" One road trip changed Tallina's life when she developed TSS. Not because she left her tampon in for too long or forgot to take it out. After changing her tampon every hour she still developed flu-like symptoms, then her organs began to fail and they determined that it was TSS.

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Lindsay VanGennip 

"I was 19 at the time, I had 18 IVs, central line, heart cath, oxygen due to partial lung collapse, super low BP, super high heart rate, and super high fever. I went to the ER for flu like symptoms and was diagnosed with strep throat and an allergic reaction (I had the rash too). When I went back to the ER after getting worse, more tests were run and they realized it was TSS. With this year marking 20 years later, I feel even more compelled to spread awareness of TSS."

Jewel Schultz (1995)

"I had it in 1995 after giving birth. I thought I had a bunch of other issues at the same time, not realizing they were related. Luckily, when I went to the doctor, it was a doctor who had attended the birth and he had a hunch. They told me I could go to the hospital or take medicine at home. I said I wanted to go home, but when the tests came back, they told me I needed to go to the hospital right away. This is the sickest I have ever been in my life, worse than when I had cancer."

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Kristen Barnes

"I had flu like symptoms around dinner time and my parents had me go to bed thinking it was just the ick. Next day my dad came home from work to check on me around 930am after not answering the phone and I was unconscious on the stairs with a bad rash, barely breathing, bloody nose, 104 fever. Rushed me to the ER and luckily a nurse had seen TSS before. I spent 11 days in a coma and the family was called in twice. One 3 hour block of time with a borrowed scented tampon (changed it as soon as I got home) and 18 hours of time to spread was all it took! I have two preteen girls and I think I feel more compelled than ever to make sure this doesn’t happen to them."

Sonia Pawlett (2017)

Sonia's life was saved in 2017  from TSS: "My 14 yr old daughter TSS after using a tampon overnight. Her symptoms started with vomiting, diarrhea, chills, and a rash over her torso. I wasn't happy that the rash was still there after a few hours so I took her to the doctor and said she had to go to the hospital as an emergency. They tried to do a blood test but it was difficult as her blood was thick as she was severely dehydrated. When they did manage to get a blood sample it showed her kidneys were affected and her blood clothing was abnormal. They started aggressive treatment. The doctors at the hospital said my daughter was extremely lucky and if I (her mum) hadn't listened to my natural instinct then things could have been a lot worse, maybe fatal."

Stacia Aho

"My daughter is a TSS survivor, she had it last Spring and thankfully recovered. During her illness I spoke to some experts in the field and they told me something astonishing. Apparently the vast majority of people develop antibodies against TSS by the time they are 12. Only a small percentage of people do not, and are at risk for TSS for the rest of their lives. There is a simple blood test for these antibodies to see if you have them, or not. The test is not available any more at commercial laboratories, but we were able to have it done at a research lab after my daughter recovered and indeed, she is one of the few who lack antibodies and remains at risk."

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"Maddy was a vibrant, beautiful, loving, thoughtful, determined, and kind young woman, full of life who spread happiness wherever she went." Maddy died at the age of 19, her mother opened a non-profit organization in her memory for educating women about mTSS : Don't Shok Me