A girl was left fighting for her life when a bacterial infection misdiagnosed as a nut allergy ravaged her organs.
Gabriella Bondi, eight, started experiencing severe dry skin last August, something doctors assumed was a mild allergic reaction.
But within days the youngster, from Colorado, began to lose her hair as a painful red rash broke out across her body.
Her mother Christine Bondi-Cerrato, 35, took her to her local emergency department where she was diagnosed with life threatening toxic shock syndrome.
Doctors found the killer condition had been caused by her impetigo, which left her needing intravenous antibiotics to kill the bacteria in her bloodstream.
Gabriella Bondi, from Colorado, started experiencing severe dry skin last August, something doctors assumed was a mild allergic reaction
But within days the youngster began to lose her hair as a painful red rash broke out across her body (shown on her legs)
She was taken to A&E where she was diagnosed with life threatening toxic shock syndrome
The rare condition, thought to affect one in 100,000 people, is caused by bacteria invading the bloodstream and releasing harmful toxins
The rare condition, thought to affect one in 100,000 people, is caused by bacteria invading the bloodstream and releasing harmful toxins.
Once in the bloodstream, the toxins are pumped to the organs where they start to attack them.
It also kills skin tissue, causing some sufferers to break out in a blotchy rash across their body.
Mrs Bondi-Cerrato is now sharing photographs of her daughter to raise awareness about the rare condition and how to spot it in its early stages.
The support worker said: 'At first I thought she'd eaten something she was allergic to.
'The paediatrician we saw put her on Benadryl and simply diagnosed a suspected food allergy.
'He sent us home with hopes that she would feel better. But by late that evening, her face had gotten worse and suddenly - in a matter of mere hours, her whole body was covered in a red rash that was red and painful.
'Her armpits looked like she almost had a sunburn. We tried to keep her comfortable throughout the night but by the next afternoon, it was clear that the rashes, swelling, and lesions were getting worse and not better.'
Gabriella puts on a brave face and takes her teddy with her as she's loaded into the back of an ambulance
The youngster suffered from flu-like symptoms including headache, muscle aches, a sore throat and cough
Medics revealed Gabriella had contracted the condition after developing impetigo - a common skin infection that mainly affects infants and children
Toxic shock syndrome is a highly dangerous bacterial infection - but it can be misdiagnosed because the symptoms are similar to other illnesses and because it is so rare.
It occurs when usually harmless staphylococcus aureus or streptococcus bacteria, which live on the skin, invade the bloodstream and release dangerous toxins.
TSS' prevalance is unclear but doctors have claimed it affects around one or two in every 100,000 women.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
It has a mortality rate of between five and 15 per cent. And reoccurs in 30-to-40