Teen Girl Flies Home From College To Spend Birthday With Mom, Dies Suddenly Days Later

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Photo Credit: Inside Edition

Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in November 2019.

A devastating loss has sparked a powerful movement as a mother from Rumson, New Jersey, advocates for greater awareness of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a rare but serious illness associated with tampon use. Madalyn Massabni, a vibrant 19-year-old college student with dreams of a fashion career, tragically passed away from TSS during her 19th birthday celebrations in 2017.

Photo Credit: Inside Edition

Describing Madalyn as a radiant presence whose smile could light up a room, her mother, Dawn Massabni, shares the heart-wrenching details of that fateful day. Madalyn had been studying fashion at Lynn University in Florida, where she pursued her passion for runway shows. However, her life took an unexpected turn when she fell ill after her birthday dinner. Dawn recalls rushing Madalyn to the hospital after she experienced a seizure and, despite the efforts of doctors, Madalyn’s condition rapidly deteriorated. Three days after her 19th birthday, Madalyn tragically lost her life.

The cause of Madalyn’s untimely death was determined to be Toxic Shock Syndrome, a rare bacterial infection associated with tampon use. While not all cases of TSS are linked to tampons, women who use them face a higher risk. Toxic Shock Syndrome is caused by certain types of staphylococcus bacteria and, if left untreated, can be fatal. Symptoms include low blood pressure, fever, rash, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and confusion.

Photo Credit: Inside Edition

In the wake of this devastating loss, Dawn Massabni has transformed her grief into a mission to raise awareness about TSS and promote safe tampon usage. Through her foundation, Don’t Shock Me, she educates women and girls about the risks of TSS and advocates for improved regulations and labeling on tampon packaging. Massabni recently had a crucial meeting with the Food and Drug Administration, engaging in discussions about groundbreaking regulations that could reshape the landscape for tampon manufacturers. Her goal is to have more prominent warnings on tampon boxes, along with clear information about TSS symptoms.

Photo Credit: Inside Edition

Massabni’s efforts also extend to her local community, where she is pushing for “Maddy’s Law,” legislation that would mandate TSS information sessions for students in fifth grade and above. By sharing her daughter’s story and urging those who have experienced TSS to come forward, Massabni hopes to prevent further tragedies and save lives.

Health experts emphasize the importance of using tampons with lower absorbency, changing them regularly, and alternating with menstrual pads. Early recognition of TSS symptoms, such as low blood pressure, fever, rash, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and confusion, is crucial for prompt medical intervention.

Photo Credit: Inside Edition

The tragic loss of Madalyn Massabni serves as a powerful reminder of the potential risks associated with tampon use and the urgent need for greater awareness and improved safety measures. As Dawn Massabni fights to ensure that no other family experiences the devastating loss she has endured, her efforts shed light on a critical issue that demands immediate attention.

Sources: ABC News

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