The story of a college student who lost both of his legs as well as all ten of his fingers after consuming some bad leftover noodles has seen a surge in interest as of late thanks to a viral video reenacting the events that transpired. With how appealing leftovers can be in terms of ease and time-saving, this story is a cautionary tale about how food can quickly turn from friend to foe.
Dr. Bernard Hsu, a licensed toxicologist and the person behind the Chubbyemu YouTube page, has garnered over a million views (as of the time of writing) on his dramatization of the sad tale, and we're here to unpack all of the details surrounding the tragic events.
Keep reading to find out exactly what went down with this case of really bad leftover noodles.
The leftover noodles caused the college student to develop "shock, multiple organ failure, and rash."
The case, which was originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine before Dr. Hsu reenacted it, details how a 19-year-old boy, referred to only as "JC," quickly developed incomprehensible abdominal pain and nausea after consuming chicken, rice, and lo mein leftovers.
Vomiting, chills, generalized weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, neck stiffness, and blurry vision followed, per the publication. Soon after, his skin turned purple and his kidneys began failing.
The student was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital after his friend, who had eaten the same food but vomited and therefore did not become as severely ill, called 911. When he was admitted, his temperature peaked at an astounding 105 degrees, and his heart rate was at an unstable 166 beats per minute. JC was given a catheter to help drain the urine from his body and stop his kidneys from being enflamed, but the most shocking revelation came when his urine and blood samples returned.
Tests administered at the hospital revealed that he had developed a condition known as Neisseria Meningitidis. Dr. Hsu says in his reenactment video that "When bacteria are present in the blood, the entire body’s blood vessels dilate, dropping the blood pressure preventing oxygen from getting to the organs."
The extremely advanced state of his deteriorating condition led to him developing gangrene, which required the amputation of parts of each of his 10 fingers and everything below his knees.
After the fact, doctors learned that the student had never received a booster shot of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine when he was 16, and the lack thereof furthered the spread of the Neisseria Meningitidis.
Despite the terrible circumstance in which JC had to lose his extremities, doctors did note in the initial publication that he made a full recovery after healing from his surgeries.