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Young mother has 30 percent chance of survival

ST. PETERSBURG – Two weeks ago, Yasmin Hernandez was a vibrant, loving woman, devoted wife and mother of five young children.

Now, she lies in a hospital bed, heavily sedated, because her skin is burning from the inside out.

And her family is asking for prayers.

Hernandez has developed toxic epidermal necrolysis, a condition so rare that the chances of getting it are about one in a million.

Toxic epidermal necrolysis, or TEN, is the more severe form of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, both of which are skin diseases that are caused by a reaction to medication.

FOX 13 medical reporter Dr. Joette Giovinco says the medical field is still unclear about pinpointing the exact mechanism that causes TEN and SJS.

"Medications can precipitate it. Antibiotics, non-steroidal, anti inflammatory drugs, anti-seizure drugs, anti-psychotic drugs," Giovinco said.

Yasmin's husband Benjamin says his wife took a drug on December 3 to treat bipolar disorder before she got sick.

"She had a fever of 109. I thought my thermometer was broken. I rushed her to the hospital," Benjamin said.

Now, the blistering from TEN is literally burning Yasmin's skin off her body, and she is bandaged from head to toe. She is on a ventilator at an Orlando hospital, and her husband says she stands a 30 percent chance of survival.

"I don't wish this upon anybody. I want them to know exactly what's going on," he said.

Hernandez is now doing the best he can to keep things as normal as possible for the couple's five children, ages two to 14.

"There's no words to explain to the kids how they're mom is doing. All they know right now is that she's sick," he said.

Twins Julisa and Jamilia, 7, made get-well cards with their classmates. One student wrote, "it feels bad to be sick when Christmas is close."

And co-workers from Yasmin's job at All Florida Orthopedic Associates in St Petersburg are raising money and buying Christmas gifts for the children.

Beverly Hooper met Yasmin at work. They became friends, and now Hooper babysits for the family.

"She's just a loving person," Hooper said. "She hugs everybody when she comes into work. She's just a giving person herself," Hooper said of Yasmin.

Benjamin Hernandez says if his wife survives, she will need care for a long time. The family is planning fundraisers, even while having no idea what the future holds, and feeling helpless.

"I can't help my wife. She's been my wife for 10 years and I can't help her," Benjamin said.

Source: My Fox Tampa Bay

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