Mum nearly died twice after toothache developed into brain infection

A mum-of-four has spent five months in hospital and nearly died twice after a toothache developed into an infection on her brain. 

Rebecca Dalton, 35, says her personality ‘completely changed’ and she suffered memory black outs and found it impossible to walk after the routine dental problem spiralled out of control. 

Doctors traced bacteria causing the infection in her brain – which also affected her heart and liver – back to a small tooth abscess she discovered last December. 

Rebecca thought it had been successfully treated at the dentist in March this year but became concerned when she started to feel strange. 

‘I became really uptight, really anxious and quite emotional. I thought I was having a mental breakdown,’ she told the Hull Daily Mail.

Rebecca, from Snaith in East Yorkshire, was taken to hospital in Scunthorpe where scans showed she had developed growths on her heart, liver and brain. 

After losing her ability to walk, she was transferred to the neurological department at Hull Royal Infirmary – a trip she says she has no memory of making. 

On two separate occasions Rebecca’s mum was allowed to visit her in hospital – against the lockdown restrictions in place at the time – as doctors warned her that her daughter might not survive the infection.



Rebecca shared the hospital with some of the area’s worst affected coronavirus patients and was tested 12 times for Covid 19 herself, each one coming back negative. 

She finally left her ward last Tuesday, six stone lighter than when she was admitted five months earlier.

She’s continuing her rehabilitation at home and has been reunited with her children but still struggles to complete everyday tasks. 

She said: ‘It has been a life-changing experience. At 35 you don’t expect to have carers in every morning watching you take your tablets, it’s been such a big shock.

‘It was really, really tough. It’s given me a different outlook on life – you can’t take things for granted. Something so simple could cost you your life.’

Rebecca now hopes to return to work as a PA in October. She’s using her experience to warn others not to take simple issues with their health for granted, saying it can easily lead to something much worse.

She said: ‘People need to know what can happen – a simple tooth abscess can take your life.

‘Just be aware, follow up on everything and get checked even after you’ve had antibiotics. You don’t realise until you’re in that situation how dangerous it can be.’

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