Florida woman blames nail salon for infection that led to week-long hospital stay

TAMPA, FL (WCMH) — After a visiting her favorite nail salon for a pedicure, a Florida woman spent a week in the hospital with a severe bacterial infection. Now, she is blaming the salon for the infection.

Tara Batista said her life has been turned upside down. After spending a week in the hospital, she’s back at home, but she’s tethered to a PICC line and under the care of a home health nurse for the next six weeks, including her wedding day later this month.

“Emotionally, economically, physically, mentally… It’s been a total nightmare,” Batista told WFTS. “This is not what I envisioned for my wedding.”

She said it all started with a pedicure at Nail Image in Tampa, her favorite nail salon. She’s never had any issues with the salon before, but this time was different.

“It was painful,” Batista said. “I told her at one point she was inflicting pain.”

Just hours later, Batista said the pain intensified and she began to feel weak.

“There were pains going through my legs,” she said.

A day and a half later, Batista was unable to stand on her left leg and her family members took her to the emergency room. She wasn’t expecting what happened next.

“The next thing I know, they tell me I am going into surgery. The infection had reached my bone,” Batista said.

According to her medical records, Batista was suffering from a deep abscess triggered by a severe bacterial infection on her left big toe.

When WFTS went to Nail Image with Batista’s medical records and the receipt from her pedicure, the owner refused to comment about the incident. Records show Nail Image passed both of their most recent inspections, and there is no conclusive proof Batista’s infection was caused by the pedicure, but Batista is not convinced.

“An infection to come on in 24 hours to that severity… something is not right,” she said.

Lee Timberlake, an instructor at Artistic Nails and Beauty Academy, teaches a 155-hour sanitizing and disinfecting course. She said customers should always ask technicians how tools are sanitized and even ask to watch the process. All tools should be scrubbed then placed into a disinfectant after every appointment.

“If they don’t do these things, I would leave,” Timberlake said.

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