Woman nearly loses her leg to bacterial infection she says she contracted from hotel hot tub

An Indiana woman nearly lost her leg after she said she contracted a bacterial infection while using a hot tub on her family vacation.

Taylor Bryant, of Indianapolis, said she and her family went on vacation to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in March. Within a few days, she began to feel sick and cramping in her right leg. During breakfast one morning, she told her husband she would have a doctor check on her leg.

When she went to urgent care, her ankle began to swell and the pain in her calf intensified. But as doctors checked it out, they couldn’t find anything and tried looking for possible blood clots.

Bryant said those tests came back negative and doctors began asking her about the activities she engaged in during her vacation.

When they learned she’d been frequenting a hot tub, they suggested she might have contracted pseudomonas folliculitis, or hot tub folliculitis. The infection develops when bacteria that clings to the sides of tubs if they’re not cleaned properly gets into hair follicles.

“They started me on an antibiotic and told me to take aspirin, but advised I get seen by my family doctor ASAP,” she said.

When Bryant flew home with her family, she said her calf was so severely swollen she was having difficulty walking. She had also developed a rash. In order to get to her doctor’s visit, she ended up using a wheelchair because of the intense swelling and pain.

Her doctor started her on 10 days of antibiotics and referred her to a wound specialist.

At the end of her antibiotic treatment, Bryant said she went to the wound specialist who immediately called in a doctor who specialized in infectious diseases. She said they quickly admitted her to a hospital, where she started IV antibiotics for four days.

Bryant was then sent home, where she continued antibiotic treatments. During this time, she said the skin on her calf became black, but that it was easier to stand on her leg.

“After meds and creams, my skin came off and new skin was growing in good,” she said. “(But) I was still pretty swollen for weeks.”

Bryant used compression socks and continued to use antibiotic cream on her calf.

She said she went back to work on July 15 and that the spot on her calf still looks different in color to the rest of her skin.

“I am lucky to still have my leg, but more lucky that I am still here today,” she said. “I told myself it’s my time to share how I got this from a hot tub.”

Bryant said she filed an incident report with the hotel where she stayed.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.