Jane White Cunningham had both legs and one arm amputated after she contracted a horrifying infection from eating raw oysters, but the drastic measures were not enough to save the life of the Texas woman.
The 56-year-old woman reportedly contracted an infection from the bacteria Vibrio, which CBS Dallas-Fort Worth noted is a common cause of food poisoning. But Cunningham’s infection turned out to be far more serious, forcing her to be hospitalized earlier this month.
Reports indicated that Cunningham was on vacation when she ate the raw oysters.
Though doctors used an aggressive treatment, the infection continued to spread. A few days after Jane White Cunningham was brought to the hospital, her family members posted an update on Facebook saying that she was experiencing a lot of swelling in her extremities, forcing doctors to amputate both legs and her left arm in an attempt to stop the spread of the infection.
At the time, the family asked for prayers and noted that Cunningham’s life was now in God’s hands. But doctors were not successful in those efforts to stop the infection, and days later the Texas woman died from the infection.
Cunningham’s death attracted nationwide attention, including one of the top stories in the New York Post. Others spread the story on social media as a warning to the dangers of eating raw seafood.
To make the situation even more tragic, Jane White Cunningham had been battling leukemia since 2016 and was not eligible for life insurance, the Houston Chronicle reported. Family and friends started a fundraiser to help pay for her medical expenses.
The Centers for Disease Control warn against eating raw seafood, especially among people with compromised immune systems. Though most people only suffer from food poisoning, some can develop dangerous and sometimes deadly infections. The CDC noted that there are an estimated 80,000 people in the United States who contract vibriosis each year, with 100 deaths.
Experts recommend cooking oysters.
The infection that struck Cunningham is known to be in warm, coastal waters — where oysters are usually harvested.
Family members are planning a memorial service for Jane White Cunningham on August 26.
[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Culinary Experience]