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A mum was left battling sepsis and could have lost her leg after a large new tattoo got badly infected.
In April 2021 Shyann Johanneson, 26, went to get an ambitions eye, clock, compass and rose tattoo on her leg, opting to use an artist she had gone with in the past.
Despite being happy with it, she could soon smell ‘rotting flesh’ and the wound began to ‘ooze’.
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The mum of four said her doctor told her that the ink had been pushed in too deeply – her artist said Shyann had used a numbing cream she shouldn’t and had submerged it in water too soon afterwards.
Shyann, from Chapel Allerton, West Yorkshire, said: "When the tattoo was first finished it looked absolutely beautiful, it was one of my best tattoos, I was so happy with it.
"But within four hours I was in agony, it was so inflamed.
"I've given birth to four kids without pain relief, I'm stubborn with pain but within 12 hours the pain was that intense I couldn't even walk, it was so bad.
"Within 24 hours I was laid up in bed and couldn't move, it was the worst experience of my life.
"He butchered my leg. It was literally just oozing and rotting, it even smelled like rotting flesh.
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"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."
She said the artist refused to refund her the £200 she paid for the piece and blocked her from contacting him.
Now she’s putting her story out as a warning to encourage people to research their bodywork artists thoroughly beforehand.
She said the process of recovery took around three months, and saw her end up in hospital. She claims her skin is still 'paper thin'.
"They put me on a drip of antibiotics but because I had the kids I had to kind of discharge myself after a few hours because there was no one to have them overnight,” she said.
"I had to go to the plastics clinic to get it checked and they were giving me morphine.
"For a really long time it wasn't healing and there was a massive concern of me needing a skin graft," she said.
"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.
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"Even when I could walk and drive again it completely stopped me from leaving the house."
But despite the turmoil she was allegedly put through, Shyann said the artist put up a lot of resistance.
She said: "He tried to blame my tube of numbing cream but even the plastic surgeon that I spoke to at the hospital said to me categorically that it could not have been the numbing cream."
But after working with solicitors she was told there was nothing to be done because the artist did not have insurance and was not registered.
"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."
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