Woman nearly loses leg after infected tattoo leaves her with ‘huge rotting’ wound

A mum-of-four says she feared she’d lose a leg after an infected thigh tattoo left her with an “oozing” leg that stunk of “rotting flesh.” Now she’s urging others to check their tattooist’s credentials

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Mum battles sepsis after getting leg tattoo

A woman says she was left in agony after “a giant infected tattoo” left her fighting sepsis, and feared she would end up losing her leg altogether. Shyann Johanneson had her right thigh tattooed with a design that incorporated an eye, clock, compass, and rose back in April 2021.

The mum-of-four had used the same tattoo artist in the past, apparently without issue, and she says the finished result initially looked “beautiful”. However, she was left in terrible pain and struggling to walk just four hours later. Her leg then began to ooze, and stunk like “rotting flesh”.

The 26-year-old claims the pain she endured was worse than childbirth, and says she was laid up in bed unable to move within 24 hours after her tattoo appointment in what ended up being the “worst experience” of her life.







Shyann says the tattoo initially looked “beautiful”
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Kennedy News and Media)







She was left struggling to walk just four hours after her appointment
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

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Shyann, from Chapel Allerton, West Yorkshire, said: “He butchered my leg. It was literally just oozing and rotting, it even smelled like rotting flesh. It got to the point where I was so poorly I felt like I was going to die.

“When I went to the hospital it turned out I had sepsis and they were looking at doing a skin graft because it was so bad. The plastic surgeon said he had gone way too deep into my skin, which caused my skin to reject the ink and because the ink was in my bloodstream it caused the sepsis.

“I strongly believe that if I hadn’t been so reactive going to the doctors the next day and then the hospital the day after that, I don’t believe I would’ve kept my leg.”

Her doctor prescribed antibiotics and pain relief, however, Shyann ended up having to go to St James’s University Hospital, in Leeds, where it was confirmed she had sepsis. After being given IV antibiotics, Shyann began feeling better over the subsequent 48 hours.







Shyann believes if she hadn’t taken action straight away, she would have lost her leg
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Kennedy News and Media)







Doctors warned Shyann she may need a skin graft
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Kennedy News and Media)

After this point, Shyann had to return to the hospital to have her dressing changed every three days, with doctors warning she may need a skin graft. However, after two months of check-ups, Shyann’s leg thankfully showed signs of improvement and so she was discharged with supplies to dress and clean the wound by herself. Nearly three months after her disastrous tattoo appointment, Shyann’s leg had finally fully healed.

Shyann recalled: “On one visit a nurse said ‘if it’s still not healing next time then we’ll book you in for a skin graft’ but then it started healing, which was amazing.

“For a really long time I was really self-conscious about wearing shorts but because of how painful the leg was I couldn’t wear jeans or pants because anything that rubbed on it was immense pain. Even when I could walk and drive again it completely stopped me from leaving the house.”







For a long time, Shyann felt too self-conscious to go out in shorts
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)







The tattoo artist has allegedly blamed Shyann for using numbing cream on her ink
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

The tattoo artist allegedly blamed Shyann’s use of numbing cream for causing the infection. However, she says she used it for multiple other tattoos without experiencing any problems. According to Shyann, the infection and scarring are also concentrated in the darkest, most shaded areas, which she believes were ‘overworked’ by the tattooist, resulting in the infection.

After making a complaint to the artist, he allegedly initially agreed to refund her the £200 fee. However, he ultimately ended up blocking her and never sent over any money, and Shyann ended up asking a solicitor to look into the case for her. She claims it was discovered the artist wasn’t a registered tattooist and also didn’t have insurance.

The health and wellbeing student says the infection has left her with scarring and ‘paper-thin’ skin she is too scared to tattoo another design over. Going forward, Shyann hopes to warn others to carry out their research when choosing an artist, encouraging them to ask for proof of qualifications and insurance.

Shyann continued: “The scarring is quite bad. Everywhere the dark shading was looks like I’ve started to get it lasered off and is scarred. My skin is literally paper thin to the point where it’s a year-and-a-half later and I’m still too scared to get it touched up.

“Make sure before you get tattooed that you’ve seen their insurance and qualifications because it can go really wrong. In my case, it did go really wrong.”

The tattoo artist in question has been repeatedly contacted for comment however they have failed to respond.

Have you ended up with a disastrous tattoo? Email us at julia.banim@reachplc.com

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