What This Woman Thought Was a Sinus Infection Was Actually a Rare, Life-Threatening Fungal Infection
Damage was so severe, doctors had to remove both of her eyes and more body parts.
About three months ago, a 34-year-old woman from Arizona went to the doctor with the symptoms of a sinus infection. It turned out she did have an infection, but it was a far more serious type than what she thought. She was diagnosed with a rare fungal infection called mucormycosis. Doctors told her she likely wouldn’t survive—but she continues to fight.
According to Phoenix's Fox 10, Jessica Weldon has been undergoing treatment at Mayo Clinic since being diagnosed with the infection. She’s had 11 surgeries, and doctors had to remove both of her eyes, the pallet of her mouth, her top teeth, and a small portion of her brain.
The news outlet reported that Weldon also has lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s tissues and organs. That meant when she contracted the fungal infection, her immune system wasn’t strong enough to fight it off. Much to her doctors’ surprise, however, Weldon is gaining strength day by day.
Mucormycosis is a severe fungal infection caused by molds that belong to a group called mucormycetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People with weakened immune systems, like Weldon, are most at risk.
The fungus typically get into the sinuses or lungs through inhalation, but it can also enter the skin through a cut or wound. Symptoms vary depending on where the infection occurs, but in Weldon’s case, they mimicked those of a sinus infection.
Weldon’s husband, Chris, told Fox 10 that they’re not giving up hope just yet. "Doctors seven weeks ago said this has a 100% mortality rate, but we've been praying," Chris said. "We have so many people praying for us, praying for Jess, and she's hanging in there. She's a fighter."
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter