Toxic shock syndrome: Campaign after Natasha Scott-Falber's death

Natasha Scott Falber did not know why she was ill and thought she was recovering from the sickness bug norovirus

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The family of a 14-year-old girl who died after using a tampon for the first time has launched a campaign to raise awareness of toxic shock syndrome.

Natasha Scott-Falber's relatives want everyone to be aware of symptoms of the condition which affects about 40 people a year in the UK.

Natasha, from Caerwent, Monmouthshire, died on Valentine's Day.

Her family say the campaign is to honour their "beautiful, gifted, kind and funny" daughter.

Natasha was described as an "all-singing and all-dancing" youngster who enjoyed acting and playing the guitar.

She dreamed of starring in the West End and last year, she was selected to perform in a choir backing English tenor Alfie Boe in a performance at St David's Hall in Cardiff.

Natasha died early on 14 February after falling asleep watching one of her favourite TV programmes.

'Very deadly'

Toxic shock syndrome

  • Infection is caused when usually harmless Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus bacteria, which live in the skin, invade the bloodstream and produce dangerous toxins
  • This causes a sudden high fever, a massive drop in blood pressure resulting in dizziness and confusion, and occasional vomiting and diarrhoea
  • NHS website advises if you use tampons and you have a period - or have recently finished one - and suddenly develop a high fever or one or more of the symptoms, to contact your doctor or out-of-hours GP service

She had suffered symptoms which her family said were originally thought to have been caused by norovirus, the winter vomiting bug.

In a message on Facebook the family said: "Generally speaking, it is accepted knowledge that leaving a tampon in for too long can cause toxic shock syndrome.

"But in Natasha's case, she followed all the instructions and used the tampon correctly.

"It was simply the introduction of the tampon into her body which caused the toxic shock syndrome to take effect.

"Toxic shock is very rare, but also very deadly."

Mandy Scott said her daughter had remained in good spirits throughout her fatal illness.

"Only the evening before she died she was telling me off for fussing over her, and saying that she was feeling much better.

Natasha Scott-Falber Natasha Scott-Falber dreamed of a career starring in the West End

"She died peacefully at approximately 6.45am on Valentine's Day after falling asleep watching one of her favourite TV programmes."

'Reeling from shock'

She added: "We cannot express how much we miss our beautiful, gifted, kind and funny Natasha.

"All our family, and many others close to us, are still reeling from the shock of losing our wonderful girl."

Natasha's father Mike Falber, brother Daniel Falber, 18, and stepparents Mike Scott and Linda Falber have united in the awareness campaign about the condition.

Mrs Scott added: "We thought that one thing we could do, to honour Natasha and help others, would be to start an awareness campaign about toxic shock syndrome.

The teenager's family said they were talking to Public Health Wales and also to the main tampon companies about their campaign.

They also said they have had some success with GPs and the education system in the Gwent area.

"We are determined to make at least everyone in the UK aware of what the symptoms are, and what the risks are," they said.

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