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Lauren Wasser Has Her Second Leg Amputated: 'Life Is Only Going to Get Better'

People logo People 1/16/2018 Julie Mazziotta

a man and a woman sitting in a chair © Amy Purdy/Instagram Lauren Wasser is recovering in the hospital after her second leg amputation.

The model and activist, 29, revealed in December that she would likely need to have her other leg removed as she continued to deal with severe pain as a result of toxic shock syndrome.

“I don’t have toes, and I have to go to wound care every Monday for my heel. I’m in so much pain. It’s a hard decision, but my only way to freedom,” Wasser told PEOPLE. “I can’t wait to have two gold blades, to run and feel the wind on my face again.”

After her surgery earlier this week, Wasser met with Paralympian Amy Purdy, who is also a double amputee.

“Thank you so much for stopping by it really meant the world,” Wasser wrote on Instagram. “Thank you for showing me that life is only going to get better and that I have so much life to live.”

My baby @camraface had another surprise for me this morning.... A knock on my door and in walks the amazing, talented, badass beauty @amypurdygurl! Thank you so much for stopping by it really meant the world?? thank you for showing me that life is only going to get better and that I have so much life to live?????????????? #igotthis #amputee #lifewithoutlimits thank you @camraface ???? I love you ????

A post shared by Lauren Wasser (@theimpossiblemuse) on Jan 14, 2018 at 11:16am PST

Purdy, a bronze-medalist snowboarder, lost both her legs after contracting Neisseria meningitis, a bacterial infection similar to toxic shock syndrome (TSS). She also shared a photo from their meeting.

“Our stories are so similar and in fact they thought I had TSS when I first entered the hospital,” Purdy wrote. “Lauren is so beautiful and strong, I’m telling ya, this chick is going to go far.”

Wasser developed TSS, a rare, life-threatening condition that is caused by bacterial toxins from the Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) strain in 2012, after a wearing a tampon while having the flu.

She is now advocating for legislation — backed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney — that would require the National Institutes of Health to conduct or support research into the safety of tampons and other feminine hygiene products.

“It’s transparency I’m looking for,” Wasser told PEOPLE. “I think being more honest with the general public about the risks and educating them on using the products, signs to look out for … The vagina is the most absorbent part of the woman’s body. If you have a toxic tampon you put it in the most absorbent part your body it goes straight to you blood stream.”

“Because we are women we have to fight for everything; we need to stick together.”

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