BOSTON (WJW) — A 19-year-old’s harrowing medical story — the one where eating takeout leftovers led to limb amputation — is making headlines after a recent explainer YouTube video went viral.
The man, who was identified only as “JC” when his case was shared in the New England Journal of Medicine last March, reportedly had eaten some leftover rice, chicken, and noodles when he started to feel sick.
Following vomiting, stomach pain and purpling skin, the teen’s friend, who also had thrown up after eating the leftover restaurant meal, took JC to a nearby hospital emergency room. He was admitted there complaining of severe muscle pains.
When the man was finally airlifted to the pediatric ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston he was reportedly experiencing shock, multiple organ failure, and severe molted-looking rash, which took over most of his body. At that point he was 20 hours into his sickness and he had a temp over 105 degrees Fahrenheit and had a heart rate of 166 beats per minute.
With necrosis and gangrene eventually creeping in, decisions had to be made.
Doctors reportedly chose to amputate both legs below the knees and parts of all fingers. JC, who reportedly had all of his childhood vaccinations and was relatively healthy, was diagnosed with purpura fulminans due to meningococcemia.
He had been staying with a friend for five days but lived with his mom and brother in northern New England working part-time at a restaurant.
It was later learned that JC had not received all of his meningococcal vaccinations.
The patient “had a relatively good recovery,” according to the medical journal report, considering the seriousness of the sickness.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends properly storing your leftover food in a refrigerator or freezer and then cooking food to a high enough temperature (165 degrees) to avoid ingesting bacteria, which can be tasteless and odorless.