Toddler Caught Sepsis from Trying On New Shoes While Back-to-School Shopping

Toddler's sepsis foot
Facebook/Jodie Thomas

A day out shoe shopping with mom quickly turned dangerous when a 4-year-old from Aberfan, South Wales, caught a bacterial infection, which caused her body to go into sepsis. Sienna Rasul ended up fighting for her life simply from trying on different shoes at the shore store without using socks or disposable foot pads. After she was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with this potentially deadly infection, mom Jodie Thomas is now warning other parents what she wishes she had known: it's never OK to let your child try on shoes without socks. 

  • The day had started out like any typical shopping trip, with the exception that Sienna was wearing sandals because of the heat.

    We all know that it feels uncomfortable to wear heavy shoes and socks in the summer, but for Sienna her choice of footwear had serious consequences. Speaking with The Mirror, Jodie said that her daughter had tried on several pairs of shoes that day in different sizes, but the problem was that the 4-year-old had been wearing sandals and therefore didn't use anything to protect her feet while she tried on the different options.

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  • The two left the shop unaware that Sienna had brought something else home: a serious sepsis infection that almost cost the girl her leg. 

    The day after her shopping trip, Sienna began to feel sick and started crying in agony. Concerned, her mom decided to take her to the children's ward at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil. "I drove her straight in to hospital, she was shaking and twitching -- it was horrible to see my little girl like that," she recalled.

    After examining Sienna, doctors diagnosed a small raised mass on her foot as sepsis. According to Mayo Clinic, this occurs "when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body." If untreated, this inflammation can cause rapid changes in the rest of the organs, causing some of them to fail. 

    Doctors told Jodie that the inflammation was most likely reacting to an infection from bacteria in the shoes that were on display. They believe that after the girl tried on the shoes, a "breach" in her skin allowed the infection to spread and cause the domino effect in her bloodstream. 

  • Doctors told Jodie that they would have to operate on her daughter but found that treating the inflammation with a drain and antibiotic drip helped.

    In total, Sienna spent five days in the hospital while her mother patiently waited by her side. "I was really shocked when the doctors said it was from trying on new shoes," Jodie told reporters. "I've been worried sick, they've had to drain all the poison from her leg."

    Doctors finally released Sienna from the hospital and she is now being monitored at home, but the scare certainly had its effects on her mother.

  • In a Facebook post, Jodie is now urging other parents to make sure that their kids try on shoes with socks on, or else face similar risks.

    "For all parents, please put socks on your children while trying new shoes on. I'm guilty not doing it for mine and myself, but this can be the outcome: infection spreading throughout the body," she warned. "You don't don't know whose feet has been in them before hand! Sienna has had one hell of a outing and thankfully and touch wood, made a full recovery! Who would thought trying new shoes on could make someone so ill."

    And the mom of three has one piece of advice to offer parents before they go back to school shopping with their little ones: "Carry a pair of spare socks!"

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