You can see a full explanation of this strange case in the video below:
The student, identified in the above YouTube video only as ‘JC’, ate the chicken and noodle dish that had been bought from a restaurant the previous night, and immediately started to feel ill.
In the YouTube video, they've dramatised events described in the medical journal.
According to the report, the patient had a severely high temperature, a pulse of 166 beats per minute, and had to be sedated.
He had no known allergies and had received his childhood vaccinations, smoked two packs of cigarettes each week, marijuana on a daily basis, and wasn’t a big drinker.
The patient was so ill that he was taken to the intensive care unit of another hospital by a helicopter for further treatment.
The report states: “The patient had been well until 20 hours before this admission, when diffuse abdominal pain and nausea developed after he ate rice, chicken, and lo mein leftovers from a restaurant meal.
“Five hours before this admission, purplish discoloration [sic] of the skin developed, and a friend took the patient to the emergency department of another hospital for evaluation.”
The story is explained in greater depth in that aforementioned YouTube video by ‘Dr Bernard’.
He explained that the severe symptoms that he was suffering from seemed likely to have been an aggressive bacterial infection.
His kidneys had failed, and his blood started to clot.
This is all less than 24 hours since he ate the food.
After receiving blood test results from the previous hospital, they found that he had a bacteria in his blood called Neisseria meningitidis.
That doesn’t mean meningitis, but it’s still bad. It’s meningococcaemia.
His immune system had started responding, as Dr Bernard explained: “It’s kind of like getting a cut on your skin – the bleeding stops eventually because of blood clot, then the area around the cut becomes swollen and warm.
“It is swollen because the blood vessels dilate so that more blood vessels can get to the area and the swelling is partly due to the fact that there is increase fluid and the warmth is the inflammation.
“But, when bacteria is present in the blood, the entire body’s blood vessels dilate, dropping then blood pressure, preventing oxygen from getting into the organs.”
He continued: "Little clots [start to] form everywhere, as they get lodged into small blood vessels blocking blood flow.
“As his hands and feet become cold, they are starved of oxygen.”
The problem with all of this – well another serious problem – is that the tissue that is starved of blood starts to turn necrotic.
The whole effect is called Purpura fulminans.
That refers to fulmen, meaning lightning.
That’s a reference to the sudden nature of it.
The purpura refers to the colour of the bruise.
Whilst he did stabilise, the tissue on his fingers developed gangrene, as did his legs down to his feet.
He had to have parts of all 10 fingers amputated, as well as a bilateral below-knee amputations.
The bacteria that got into his food is known to spread through saliva, which is interesting in this case because JC’s roommate vomited after eating some of the meal the previous night.
The leftovers were then eaten unknowingly by JC.
Then, they discovered that whilst JC had received his first meningococcal vaccine before middle school, he had never had the booster shot recommended four years later when he was 16.
The evidence suggest that the food wasn’t good, which Dr Bernard describes as ‘a freak accident’.
However, ‘we’ll never know’ what caused the food to have that bacteria in it.
26 days later, he became conscious, and his condition improved.
Obviously, his life has changed significantly, but he’s alive.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Alamy