Tenn. woman says she developed flesh-eating bacteria after visit to nail salon

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE/CNN) - A Tennessee woman lost part of her thumb after she says she developed flesh-eating bacteria when she was nicked at a nail salon.

Jayne Sharp now keeps a personal nail kit that she takes with her when she gets her nails done. She claims she developed flesh-eating bacteria after a February trip to Jazzy Nail Bar in Knox County, Tennessee.

“I was totally shocked that you could walk into a nail salon and have this happen to you,” Sharp said.

Sharp says two hours after her thumb was nicked at the salon, it started throbbing, and she developed flu-like symptoms. She got it checked out, and her nurse practitioner made sure to keep in touch, something Sharp credits with saving her life.

“I went home with a shot of some pain medicine, and I slept. So, I really credit her and her care for waking me to see how I was feeling, or I would have slept through the night. The doctors said if I hadn’t gotten to the emergency room when I did, that I wouldn’t be here,” Sharp said.

Multiple surgeries later, Sharp is missing a chunk of her thumb. She has lost feeling in the digit and says two of her other fingers tingle.

Still, she’s thankful that her experience with flesh-eating bacteria didn’t turn out worse. When she was diagnosed, doctors warned her she could lose her arm or even her life.

“Often times through the day, because I cannot feel everything with my arm and hand, I'm reminded of that horrible time, but I'm very grateful that I lived through it when some don't,” Sharp said.

Sharp says this should serve as a learning experience for both salons and customers.

"There are so many girls and guys that go to salons to get manicures and pedicures, and they have no idea what can happen to them,” she said.

The Tennessee state department that inspects all salons annually and after any complaints are filed said they inspected Jazzy Nails at the time and did not find any violation.

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