Toll of San Francisco’s homelessness nightmare: Woman filmed after battling flesh eating disease
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A homeless San Francisco woman filmed refusing treatment for a flesh-eating infection on her feet had to have them amputated just weeks later.
The woman, who was captured on camera by JJ Smith early last month on the streets of San Francisco was revisited by the citizen journalist as the disease he begged her to treat took its toll.
Roughly seven weeks ago on Feb 6, Smith had filmed the shocking first clip of the woman refusing medical help for her damaged feet.
In a heartbreaking follow-up posted on March 30, it appears the woman did not heed his advice as she appeared in a wheelchair with stumps.
‘Update on a post I did on Feb 6 I seriously tried to get this woman to go to the hospital for some type of flesh eating infection on her foot but she decided not to go due to she wanted to get high but here is the outcome of her not going she lost both feet,’ he wrote on Twitter.
The unnamed woman had to have both of her feet amputated because she would not seek medical treatment for the flesh eating disease
In the comments section of the post, Smith continued: ‘She says she feels better no more pain but she still isn’t ready for treatment for her drug addiction.’
The woman has not commented on drug taking, and it’s unclear what caused the disease to destroy her feet.
In the video from February, the wild-eyed woman, who appears to be foaming at the mouth, refuses the videographer’s offer to take her to the hospital to treat the infection that is on both of her feet.
‘Let me get you to the hospital,’ he says.
‘No, no, no,’ she replies as she goes to sit down on a pile of dirty materials.
‘Your feet is [sic] going to get cut off, if you don’t fix it,’ said Smith.
‘It will be fixed I promise,’ she insisted.
Further details of what caused the woman’s illness have not been shared.
But San Francisco is a known hot bed of homelessness, with many of those living on the streets battling serious illnesses often exacerbated by substance use.
Some people who suffer injuries to their limbs do so as a result of Xylazine, a veterinary tranquilizer approved in the US for cows and horses, which is now flooding the illicit US drug market.
Drug dealers cut everything from cocaine to heroin with the powerful sedative – but especially fentanyl, which runs rampant through the streets of San Francisco.
Patients suffer damage to their blood vessels that leads to gaping wounds appearing on their bodies. Some are left unable to walk, or need amputations because the wounds are so severe, cutting right down to the bone.
Nurses have described the wounds caused by Xylazine as appearing as though something is ‘eating away your flesh from the inside out’.
Homeless tents in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco where a rampant homeless population has taken over many blocks
The city’s open air drug markets became more apparent during COVID and show no signs of slowing down
Homeless men are seen on a sidewalk near San Francisco’s City Hall, where legislators dream up increasingly relaxed policies that fail to protect any part of the city’s vulnerable population
The number of homeless people in San Francisco was tallied in February of last year at almost 8,000, the second highest figure of any year since 2005, according to the official government count which takes place every three years.
It has almost certainly ballooned since the latest count.
Business owners in some of San Francisco’s neighborhoods have threatened to stop paying taxes if politicians don’t start cleaning up streets of litter, as well as human feces, and stopping people from openly taking drugs.
Various liberal politicians and city leaders have attempted to implement numerous policies to curb the many issues that have arisen due to the swelling homeless and drug addicted population.
One specific harm reduction policy that failed was the opening of the Tenderloin Center last year that was meant to help alleviate the city’s drug and homelessness crisis.
It cost taxpayers a whopping $22million and was meant to be a ‘safe place’ for addicts to ‘get high without getting robbed’ and without fear of fatally overdosing.
Users were also meant to be directed to help centers, though during its first four months of operations, it referred just 18 people of the more than 23,000 who were welcomed to the site.
Overall less than one per cent of visits ended in a ‘completed linkage’ to behavioral health programs.
Despite their efforts, 2022 saw upward of 500 people die from overdoses in San Francisco. In 2021, that figure was 641.
Officials had also hoped the site would offer a place to deal with the homeless crisis the city has faced in recent months and years.
Mayor Breed had originally allotted just $10 million for the project but it quickly ballooned to more than double that estimate.
In total, some 400 individuals were provided with assistance each day at the center, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
A large portion of those who took advantage of the site used it specifically for shelter or food.
The homelessness crisis in SF is bolstered by the ongoing fentanyl crisis. The synthetic drug is taken by a significant portion of the city’s homeless population and had worked its way into the public drug stream, imperiling teenagers and others across the city.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more powerful than heroin, is often mixed with cocaine and other stimulants and consumed unknowingly by recreational drug users.
After the number of US deaths related to overdoses linked to synthetic opioids climbed to 70,000 last year, public health officials continue to sound the alarm over the extremely potent nature of the drug.
Homeless people are seen in Tenderloin district of San Francisco
Summer 2022 in San Francisco. Homelessness has increased markedly in SF over the last few years
Overdose deaths have skyrocketed over the last three years, rising by 50% from 52,000 in 2016 to 106,000 in 2021.
The White House attributes the majority to fentanyl poisoning or overdose, and say the drug comes almost entirely from China via Mexico, with a handful of cartels responsible for bringing them across the border.
Six out of 10 fake prescription pills tested by the DEA in 2022 contained fentanyl, and the ‘vast majority’ came from the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels.
For years, the synthetic drug had been used as a cheaper, more readily available substitute for heroin. Now though, it is being chopped up with cocaine, MDMA and packed into pills too.
Source: DailyMail UK