A homeless San Francisco woman filmed refusing treatment for a flesh-eating infection in her feet had to have them amputated just weeks later.
The woman, who was caught on camera by jj smith early last month on the streets of San Francisco she was visited again by the citizen journalist when the illness she begged him to treat took its toll.
About seven weeks ago, on February 6, Smith 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 ignored her advice as she showed up in a wheelchair with stumps.
‘Update on a post I made on February 6th. I seriously tried to get this woman to the hospital for some kind of flesh-eating infection in her foot, but she decided not to go because she wanted to get high, but this is the result. she didn’t go she lost both feet,’ she wrote on Twitter.
The unidentified woman had to have both 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’s feeling better, she’s not in any more pain, but she’s not ready for drug addiction treatment yet.”
The woman has not commented on the drug use and it is unclear what caused the disease to destroy her feet.
In the February video, the wide-eyed woman, who appears to be foaming at the mouth, rejects the cameraman’s offer to take her to the hospital to treat the infection in both feet.
‘Let me take you to the hospital,’ he says.
‘No, no, no,’ she replies as she goes to sit on a pile of dirty materials.
‘Your feet are [sic] it’s going to cut off if you don’t fix it,’ Smith said.
“It will be fixed, I promise,” he insisted.
No further details about the cause of the woman’s illness have been shared.
But San Francisco is a notorious hotbed for homelessness, with many of those living on the streets battling serious illnesses often exacerbated by substance use.
Some people who sustain extremity injuries do so as a result of Xylazine, a US-approved veterinary tranquilizer for cows and horseswhich is now flooding the US illicit 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, causing open wounds to appear on their bodies. Some cannot walk or require amputations because the injuries are so severe that they cut right to the bone.
Nurses have described the wounds caused by xylazine as if something was ‘eating their 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 City Hall, where lawmakers dream of increasingly lax policies that fail to protect any part of the city’s vulnerable population.
The number of homeless people in San Francisco was counted in February of last year at nearly 8,000, the second-highest number of any year since 2005, according to the official government count that is done every three years.
It has almost certainly shot up since the last count.
Business owners in some of San Francisco’s neighborhoods have threatened to stop paying taxes if politicians don’t start clearing the streets of trash, as well as human feces, and preventing people from openly using drugs.
Various liberal politicians and city leaders have attempted to implement numerous policies to curb the many problems that have arisen due to the growing population of homeless and drug addicts.
A specific harm reduction policy that failed was the opening of the Tenderloin Center last year that was meant to help alleviate the city’s homeless and drug crisis.
It cost taxpayers a whopping $22 million and was meant to be a “safe place” for addicts to “get high without being robbed” and without fear of a fatal overdose.
Users also had to be directed to help centers, though during its first four months of operations, it only referred 18 people out of the more than 23,000 welcomed to the site.
Overall, less than one percent of visits ended in a ‘full link’ to behavioral health programs.
Despite their efforts, in 2022 more than 500 people died of overdoses in San Francisco. In 2021, that number was 641.
Officials also hoped the site would offer a place to deal with the homelessness crisis the city has faced in recent months and years.
Mayor Breed had originally allocated just $10 million for the project, but it quickly increased to more than double that estimate.
In total, about 400 people received 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 homeless crisis in SF is reinforced by the current fentanyl crisis. The synthetic drug is used by a significant portion of the city’s homeless population and has found its way into the public drug flow, endangering teens and others throughout the city.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more potent than heroin, is often mixed with cocaine and other stimulants and is unknowingly used by recreational drug users.
After the number of US overdose deaths linked to synthetic opioids rose to 70,000 last year, public health officials continue to sound the alarm about the extremely potent nature of the drug.
Homeless people are seen in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco
Summer 2022 in San Francisco. Homelessness has increased markedly in SF in recent years
overdose deaths they have skyrocketed in the past three years, increasing by 50% from 52,000 in 2016 to 106,000 in 2021.
The White House attributes most to fentanyl poisoning or overdoses, saying the drug comes almost entirely from China via Mexico, with a handful of cartels responsible for crossing the border.
Six of 10 fake prescription pills tested by the DEA in 2022 contained fentanyl, with the “vast majority” coming from the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels.
For years, the synthetic drug had been used as a cheaper and more readily available substitute for heroin. Now, however, it is cut with cocaine, MDMA and also packaged in pills.