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Woman, 31, left ‘burning from the inside out’ after taking ibuprofen for period pain


A woman has described how she was ‘burned from the inside out’ after taking Ibuprofen to alleviate menstrual cramps.


Jaqueline Gmack, 31, said the nightmare began with a mild itch in her eye which developed a few days after taking the over-the-counter medication as usual.


But her condition began to rapidly worsen the following day and she went to hospital after blood blisters appeared in her mouth. Soon, her entire face was covered in them and she could barely see.


The next thing Jaqueline remembers is waking up from a 17-day induced coma – the result of a rare condition triggered by the body reacting to medication.


Jaqueline, from Papanduva, Brazil, told What’sTheJam: ‘It was like I’d been burned from the inside out. I didn’t know what had happened to me.


‘I noticed my entire body was bandaged, my vision was completely blurred, and I had a tube down my throat, but I wasn’t in any pain.

‘Only then did the penny start to drop and I realised that I was very weak, and that something very serious had happened to me.’



Jaqueline was suffering from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, an incredibly rare condition caused by the body’s overreaction to medicine, particularly epilepsy medicines, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory painkillers.


Essentially, the body attacks its own skin, causing agonising blisters and peeling.


Without treatment, the condition can be life-threatening.


It left Jaqueline with scarring and severely damaged her eyes.


She said: ‘They [doctors] told me it was a miracle I’d survived. My family didn’t let me see myself in the mirror for a few days.


‘When I did finally look in the mirror, I saw someone I didn’t recognise.’


She started immediate ophthalmologist treatment in a bid to save her vision, which she will have to continue for life.


Jaqueline added: ‘He [the ophthalmologist] also said I needed to have surgery as quickly as possible otherwise I would lose the eye organ.


‘I left the office crying.’


Since that first procedure in 2011, Jaqueline has had over 24 operations including cornea transplants, amniotic membrane transplants, and stem cell transplants.


She currently has around 40% vision and continues to have fortnightly check-ups to monitor her eyes.


Jaqueline said: ‘The most difficult obstacle to overcome is knowing I can never have the vision that I once had.

‘I wish I could find a cure to see again. But I feel like a warrior.’


Credit: metro

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