Model Clings to Life After Losing Hands, Feet to Urinary Tract Infection

A Brazilian model whose feet and hands had to be amputated because of an infection is clinging to life at an intensive care unit in southeastern Brazil.

Mariana Bridi's condition deteriorated overnight and was changed from "serious" to "very serious" on Friday, the Espirito Santo State Health Secretariat said in a statement.

The 20-year-old beauty pageant contestant is suffering a generalized infection that forced the amputation of her hands and feet earlier this week because the flow of oxygen to her limbs was reduced.

"The only thing that matters now is her life," boyfriend Thiago Simoes told Globo TV's G1 Web site.

Bridi is not breathing on her own and is undergoing hemodialysis at a hospital in the city of Serra, the secretariat said.

Bridi twice was a finalist in the Brazilian stage of the Miss World beauty pageant, according to local media, and participated in the 2007 Miss Bikini International contest.

Bridi fell ill in December and doctors originally diagnosed her with kidney stones, local media said. But her condition worsened and doctors then diagnosed a urinary tract infection that spread. She was hospitalized on Jan 3.

Related: Urinary Tract Infections Common, Easy to Cure

Once she was hospitalized, doctors discovered septicemia had set into her limbs, cutting off circulation.

They were forced to amputate.

Septicemia is the presence of bacteria in the blood. It’s a serious, life-threatening infection that rapidly gets worse. It can arise from infections throughout the body, including infections in the lungs, abdomen, and urinary tract, the National Institutes of Health said on its Web site.

Since the amputation, Bridi da Costa suffered an internal hemorrhage and had another emergency operation Wednesday afternoon.

Officials have also reavealed that she has a rare blood type and needs donations.

"This is a desperately sad story and we are calling on potential donors to come forward and give blood," Henrique Fontes, executive director of Miss World Brazil, told Agence-France Presse this week.

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