Just days before the death of Crystal Spencer, the Michigan woman who contracted flesh-eating bacteria, a Georgia woman lost her hands and feet to another rare bacterial infection.
Hannah Rinehart, a cancer survivor, is suspected to have contracted the infection from the saliva of her family dog. After undergoing the quadruple amputation last week, Rinehart is battling for her life in an Atlanta hospital.
According to WXIA-TV, the bacteria found in Rinehart's body is commonly found in the saliva of dogs and other mammals. Called capnocytophaga, the bacterium is not usually known to have an adverse effect on humans.
However, it is thought that Rinehart's suppressed immune system -- caused by years of cancer and two bone marrow transplants -- may have left her body susceptible to problematic infections, Fox News reports.
Suffering from a high fever, chills and aches, Rinehart was first admitted to the hospital earlier this month. Her husband Mark told WSB-TV Atlanta that he doesn't know when Rinehart was first exposed to the bacteria but that her condition rapidly deteriorated once symptoms began to appear.
Within days, Rinehart had gone into septic shock and doctors had to put her in a drug-induced coma. The cancer survivor soon developed circulatory problems and it was determined that a quadruple amputation would be the only way to save her life.
The surgery took place last Thursday.
Though Rinehart has yet to become fully conscious, her husband Mark said he is confident that his wife will overcome this new challenge in her life.
"You see people around who have had a tough time and are bitter about it," he told WXIA-TV. "She's not -- she's always excited about living. She's a fighter, I married a fighter."
Mark said his wife is making good progress each day but noted that she isn't out of the woods just yet. This morning, Mark updated his wife's Facebook page with the news that Rinehart's fever returned last night.
For more information, visit Hannah Rinehart's Facebook page here.
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