Woman loses finger, 'could've died' after cat scratch triggers major infection

A Scottish woman who tried to break up a stray cat fight in her yard said the ordeal has “ruined her life” after she was forced to spend a month in the hospital battling an infection that was shutting down her organs and cost her a finger.

“It’s ruined my life,” Moira Brady, 45, told SWNS. “I can’t do everyday things now like taking food out of the oven.”

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Brady said she waited about a week before seeking medical attention, which according to doctors nearly killed her.

Brady waited a week before seeking help for her symptoms, which doctors said nearly cost her her life. 

Brady waited a week before seeking help for her symptoms, which doctors said nearly cost her her life.  (SWNS)

“The infection went right through my body,” Brady, who had a finger amputated to stop the infection from spreading told the news outlet. “They said I could have died or lost my whole hand.”

Brady said she underwent a blood transfusion and has already had two skin grafts during her stay at Royal Infirmary, but faces more procedures in the future. She told the news outlet that one of the brawling cats had scratched her while she was shooing them away, and that a claw had broken her skin.

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By the time she sought help, her finger had turned blue and was swollen. She said she was diagnosed with MRSA and Streptococcus A, and that her kidneys had already begun shutting down.

“They asked me if I had been near animals,” Brady told SWNS, of her initial consultation.

She lost a finger and has already undergone two skin grafts, but faces more procedures in the future.

She lost a finger and has already undergone two skin grafts, but faces more procedures in the future. (SWNS)

She said people can’t believe that her infection stemmed from something as unsuspecting as a cat scratch. Brady was not diagnosed with cat-scratch fever, which is caused by Bartonella henselae bacteria, and typically occurs after scratches from domestic or feral cats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms may include fever and enlarged, tender lymph nodes as well as other illnesses, but the infection typically clears without serious complications.

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Brady’s case differed in that her doctors discovered group A Streptococcus, which can be serious or even deadly. Complications can include rare kidney disease, necrotizing fasciitis, which is also known as flesh-eating bacteria, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever or other illnesses.