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A Mother Is In A Wheelchair After Being Infected By Bacteria On A Friend's Makeup Brush

She said the infection led to pain worse than childbirth.

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Jo Gilchrist became infected with life-threatening meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that left her in a wheelchair after she used a friend's make-up brush to cover a blemish.

Doctors say the 27-year-old mother will spend the rest of her life needing wheelchair support and will never have control over her bowel or bladder.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, she said: "It started as a little ache in my back and I thought it was my bad posture, but it kept getting worse and worse... I was in incredible pain and nothing would work. I honestly thought I was going to die - the pain was worse than childbirth."

Gilchrist was airlifted from her home in Warwick to Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital in February and underwent emergency surgery after the staph bacteria from her friend's makeup brush attacked her spine.

Gilchrist say that doctors are working hard to get rid of the staph infection.

Staph is the term for Staphylococcus Aureus, a common type of bacteria. Meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a subset that is resistant to some antibiotics.

Despite her struggle, Gilchrist is fighting the infection and learning to walk again and how to care for her two-year-old son Tommy.

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"I feel like I have a second chance at life," she said. "Everything happens for a reason, I've definitely got my fight back for life."

Rossalyn Warren is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rossalyn Warren at

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