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Body Art that Kills
Photo: Ligia Fascioni
I have a secret and it has something to do with tattoos. I’ve always wanted one. I wouldn’t even show it to anyone, but just know that I had one. It would be sort of a joke that only I knew about. The verse in Leviticus 19:28* that talks about tattoos, I decided was a part of the covenant and didn’t apply to me. (That’s an excuse a lot of people use for not keeping commandments from God.) But this is one secret that, I found out, could kill me. You don’t believe me? Keep reading.

I was visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Florida and happened to let my secret wish slip and they looked at each other incredulously and told me this story.

Their daughter, my niece Kristi, has always been way too much like me. In fact, she used to call me sister. Kristi is 24 years old and felt she was grown up enough to make her own decisions. Shortly after Christmas, she went to her mother because she had a very sore place on her back. Her mother’s a nurse and when she examined Kristi’s back she discovered a newly inked tattoo and a huge boil. Long story short, the red ugly boil didn’t get well, no matter what her mother did. A trip to the emergency room, many painful tests later and huge doses of antibiotics, introduced Kristi and her mother to what was ailing her – MRSA.

Flesh-eating Disease

MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant superbug (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). There are cases of healthy young people developing serious, even fatal infections after initial treatment failed. The bacteria has also been known to cause a deep damaging infection called necrotizing fasciitis (the so-called flesh-eating disease). The infection may improve with ordinary antibiotics, but not go away completely. In some cases, the infection spreads rapidly, involving large areas of skin and/or leading to a blood infection or pneumonia. For more information, visit http://tattoos.lovetoknow.com/MRSA.

My niece recovered her health and I recovered my sanity and no longer “long” for a tattoo.

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

* "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:28).

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