Young mum left in a wheelchair for life after catching infection from a friend’s make up brush

Have you ever used a friend’s make up brushes or have agreed to try a new eyeshadow that a lady is promoting in a beauty counter?
Several times I have been asked to have my make up done by a professional as I’m doing some shopping in a cosmetics store, so that I try their new products and in the past I thought it would be nice to enjoy free make up by a make up artist and see what I would look like with cosmetics I haven’t tried before.

So, I’ve had my make up done twice in a store, but both times it was after an appointment. The second time being older and more mature I decided to carry a new make up sponge with me to make sure that I wouldn’t have a used material on my face.
Nevertheless, the make up artist refused to use mine and insisted that they wash all the sponges before use.

Another time, I was looking for a good foundation before my wedding and knowing that I would regret it, I let the girl there apply their cosmetics on my skin with the brushes she had with her. And I bet she didn’t have a second set with her. 

When I read this article on Daily Mail about this woman, Jo Gilchrist, 27, left in a wheelchair for life after using a friend’s make up brush I couldn’t believe that such a small mistake could lead to such a big tragedy.

‘It started as a little ache in my back and I thought it was my bad posture, but it kept getting worse and worse,’ Ms Gilchrist told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I was in incredible pain and nothing would work. I honestly thought I was going to die – the pain was worse than childbirth.’

Ms Gilchrist was airlifted from her country hometown of Warwick to Brisbane where she underwent emergency surgery.

When she woke she learned she had contracted community-associated MRSA – an antibiotic-resistant form of golden staph.

‘The only thing we can put it down to is the make up brush,’ Ms Gilchrist said.

‘My friend did have a staph infection on her face and I was using her brush just before. I had no idea that could even happen, I used to share with my friends all the time.
‘My best friend feels horrible, but it’s not her fault at all. I just had a low immune system and it was the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria.’


Ms Gilchrist was told the infection had damaged her spine so severely she would never walk again and would be confined to a wheelchair.
‘They told me at my bedside that I’d never walk again and I just felt numb and I had tears rolling down my cheeks,’ she said.
‘But I’m fighting this with all I’ve got and I’m starting to learn to walk again. Two weeks ago they said I might be able to walk for an hour or two a day – like grocery shopping, washing up and hanging the washing out.
‘I’m happy with that. I honestly didn’t even expect that.’
Ms Gilchrist has lost all feeling below her belly button and will never have control over her bowel or bladder.


Doctors are still administering high strength antibiotics to rid her body of the infection and she will spend another three months in hospital before she is cleared to return home.
‘I was so lucky it went to my spine… if it went to my brain I would have died and if it went to my limbs they would have been amputated,’ she said.


‘I feel like I have a second chance at life. Everything happens for a reason, I’ve definitely got my fight back for life.’
She is now being taught how to adapt to life in a wheelchair so she can live independently and care for her two-year-old son Tommy.

‘It’s hard for him because he doesn’t understand. He is living with my family at the moment, which is two hours away, but he loves coming to visit,’ she said.

I am sure her story is going to change the way you feel about sharing make up products with others.
I wish she keeps fighting and manage to overcome her health issues, so that she doesn’t have to stay away from her child for more.


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