Former Gymnast, 30, Has Limbs Amputated Due to Toxic Shock Syndrome

A former gymnast has two of her limbs partly amputated after she was hit by a condition known as toxic shock syndrome.

Anna Norquist, 30, of Granger, St. Joseph County, Indiana, thought she had the flu when she visited St. Joseph Health System Mishawaka Medical Center in early December, reports ABC affiliate WNDU 16.

She was later sent to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with a streptococcus A infection that caused toxic shock syndrome.

The condition is triggered by harmful bacteria entering the body and producing dangerous toxins that can kill tissue.

Sufferers experience flu-like symptoms such as aching muscles, sore throat and headaches. Nausea is also associated with the infection, as well as diarrhea, a sunburn-like rash across the body and a high temperature at 102.2F or above. Meanwhile, the eyes may become red, and the tongue can burn. Confusion, drowsiness, dizziness and breathing problems are also characteristic of toxic shock syndrome.

Once these symptoms strike, the infection can spread across the body rapidly. The condition can be treated with antibiotics. In severe cases, like Norquist's, surgery must be performed to cut away dead tissue caused by the spread of infection.

The infection is widely associated with using tampons incorrectly, however, Norquist's case was not related, WNDU 16 reported.

Gordon Norquist, her father, told Fox 59, she visited Chicago on the first Friday of December, and starting feeling like she had the flu.

"By Monday, she was fighting for her life," he said. Doctors can't be certain, but they believe the streptococcus A bacteria entered her body via her right arm which may explain why it deteriorated first.

Norquist has since undergone 10 surgeries to tackle the consequences of the condition. On Wednesday surgeons amputated her left leg, after removing her right arm.

Doctors said Norquist could be hospitalized for up to six months, her father told Fox 59.

"This is going to be a shock for her and a real adjustment," he said.

Patrick Norquist, her brother, has been sharing updates on his sister's condition on Facebook. His page was flooded with prayers and well-wishes for his sister.

On Wednesday following her operation, he confirmed she was in a stable condition after having her leg amputated but was "in a lot of pain."

However, he said the family were heartened that doctors were able to save her knee joint, which will help preserve her mobility.

Norquist is due to have her left hand amputated on Friday, he wrote.

"Please continue to pray for our Anna. She is the strongest woman I know," said Patrick.

According to WNDU, Norquist competed nationally in gymnastics contests and has also worked as a gymnastics teacher.

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Anna Norquist had her left leg amputated on Wednesday. Getty Images