British teenager almost dies after having her braces tightened

She contracted a rare heart condition after having her braces tightened.
She contracted a rare heart condition after having her braces tightened. Photo credit: File

A routine visit to the dentist left a teenage girl fighting for her life in hospital and having to undergo open-heart surgery. 

Leah Kitchen, 15, from Hull in the UK, visited her dentist to have her braces tightened.  

A week later she had a high temperature and was complaining of muscle ache. 

Her mother Andrea told the Daily Mail she became worried after her daughter began acting confused and forgetful. 

Concerned her daughter had contracted meningitis, she took her to hospital, where a condition called endocarditis was diagnosed. 

Endocarditis is an infection of the heart's inner lining and can be fatal if left untreated. 

It is believed to have been caused by a piece of metal from her braces entering her heart, the Daily Mail reported.  

Leah suffered from two mini strokes and underwent open-heart surgery to remove the rogue piece of metal. 

She spent eight weeks in hospital, and is now "90 percent back to her normal self," but has to have regular check-ups for the rest of her life, her mother told the Daily Mail

"In something like that, you think [of] the worst case scenario. You think, 'Oh my god something is going to happen to my baby.' This kind of thing changes you as a person," Andrea Kitchen said.

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