Model Lauren Wasser, who once led a glamorous lifestyle, thought she would never be able to work again after losing her right leg to a deadly bacterial infection caused by a tampon in 2012. Ever since Wasser had her leg amputated, she has become an avid campaigner about the infection and helps girls and women learn about the illness she once suffered from.

Wasser was diagnosed with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) in 2012 when she was 24 years old.

According to Mayo Clinic, TSS is a rare, life-threatening complication caused by a bacterial infection.

The website also states that TSS "has been primarily associated with the use of superabsorbent tampons. The syndrome can affect anyone, including men, children, and postmenopausal women. Risk factors for toxic shock syndrome include skin wounds and surgery."

Some of the symptoms of TSS include high fever, low blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes on palms and soles, muscle aches, seizures, headaches, redness of eyes, throat, and mouth, among others.

Mayo Clinic, on its website, states TSS can be caused due to a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (staph). The syndrome can also be caused by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.

Wasser spoke of her condition for the first time recently and said it was a regular day when she had her period and ran out of tampons. She then went to a local shop to buy some after which she started to feel unwell. At first, Wasser thought she had the flu, hence she spent the rest of the day in bed, texting her friends and planning a birthday party she had to attend later that night.

Things took a turn for the worse when she caught a high temperature and almost had a heart attack. Wasser's worried mother, who could not get in touch with her, called the paramedics who found Wasser at home lying with her face down. She was then taken to the hospital where the doctors told her that she suffered from an infectious disease. 

"Thank god there was an infectious disease doctor there [at the hospital] because as soon as they found me I was plummeting so bad they couldn’t understand why a healthy, young 24-year-old like me was dying," she recalled.

"They called the specialist down and he checked if I had a tampon in. As soon as they located it got sent to the lab and it came back as TSS and as soon as they removed it I started being more receptive to treatment. They were telling my mum and my godfather to start preparing my funeral because there was no way I was walking out of there — it would have been a miracle," she added.

After undergoing a number of tests and multiple surgeries, Wasser recalled how she overheard a nurse saying that she would lose her leg.

"I knew my legs were not good but I just couldn’t… hearing those words come out of her mouth and being by myself, it was so surreal. I just kept crying and screaming and wanting my mum," Wasser recalled, the Daily Star reported.

Wasser also recalled the moment she had to choose between life or death — the moment she signed the papers allowing doctors to amputate her leg. 

"I don't think there is really anything you can do in that situation other than try and be strong. They write 'yes' and 'no' on your legs, like 'yes, this is the one that is going' and 'no, this is the one we are keeping'. To see that visually on your leg and seeing my mum kissing my leg knowing that that's the last time, it was crazy. It was f****** hell," she said.