After having a baby, 24-year-old Cassandra Campbell started a new career working alongside her dad as a tattoo artist in Michigan. Around the time that she started her new job, she visited her doctor for a bug bite. Cassandra was sent home with several precautionary antibiotic prescriptions, but her condition only worsened.
After taking the medication, Cassandra began to experience flu-like symptoms. She also developed a rash that quickly spread across her body. The young mother visited the emergency room several times over the next few days. She was sent home each time. But after Cassandra’s mother received a disturbing phone call about her worsening condition, she was rushed to the hospital once more.
Cassandra developed extremely painful, cracking blisters on her skin. Her eyes became swollen and she could no longer walk. Cassandra’s doctors treated her as a burn patient while they tried to figure out the root cause of her symptoms.
Cassandra was eventually diagnosed with a rare syndrome, commonly caused by antibiotics, known as Stevens Johnson syndrome. Her family is now sharing her story to raise awareness. What seemed like a simple rash ended up taking the life of 24-year-old Cassandra. Her baby was just three weeks old at the time.
Cassandra’s family said she got the disease from the antibiotics she was taking for her bug bite. The disease quickly spread over her body and eventually took her life, causing the tissue in her body to break down. Stevens Johnson disease is rare, so it has little awareness. The disease can affect people differently, depending on genetics, the medication a person is taking and how long they are taking it. It is commonly caused by antibiotics such as Bactrim or penicillin.
Cindy, Cassandra’s mother, said, “She was a brand new mom, and it was taken away from her… It’s the biggest fear I ever had was losing one of my children.”
Watch the video below to hear about another victim of Stevens Johnson syndrome: