Tampa woman gets emergency surgery after pedicure leads to severe foot infection

TAMPA, Fla. (CNN) — Tara Batista spent a week in the hospital after visiting one of her favorite spas for a pedicure. Now she’s tethered to a picc line for six weeks and under the daily care of a home health nurse.

Batista says the ordeal has turned her life upside down emotionally, physically and economically.

When asked if there was anything different about this pedicure, Batista said she told the woman working on her feet to ease up a bit because it felt like the instruments were digging too far into her skin.

Batista says she began to feel weak hours after leaving Nail Image in Tampa. By the next day she experienced extreme fatigue and pains began shooting up her leg.

A day and a half later family members drove Batista to the emergency room when part of her foot turned black and she could not stand on her left leg.

“Next thing I know, they tell me I’m going into surgery,” she told WFTS. “The infection had spread to my bone.”

Doctors diagnosed her with a severe infection. Batista underwent surgery and remained in the hospital for a week.

WFTS obtained her medical records which cite a deep injury triggered by a bacterial infection on her left big toe.

She was instructed to use an IV line for medication for the next six weeks, including during her wedding.

We took the hospital report to Nail Image along with the receipt from her pedicure. The owner refused to comment and said there is no conclusive proof that the pedicure caused the infection.

Lee Timberlake instructs students at the Artistic Nails and Beauty academy in Tampa. She spends 155 hours of a 240 hour curriculum teaching sanitizing and disinfecting procedures.

Timberlake, who has taught nail technicians for 10 years, says instruments should be scrubbed then placed into a disinfectant between every customer. Shortcuts can lead to injury.

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