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Dana Smith was placed in a medical coma after a nose ring is believed to be the source of a Hepatitis B infection that injured her liver leaving her in need of a liver transplant, Today.com reports. The 37-year-old Queens, NY resident also suffered brain swelling that led to seizures.

“If I would have waited another day (to get help), my chances of survival were very, very thin,” Smith told TODAY.

Smith revealed she got the nose ring around November of last year circa her birthday and Thanksgiving. She visited a “body piercing studio at a nearby mall” where she knew local people had gone to get piercings. “So I felt like it was OK,” she added.

Smith didn’t immediately feel any side effects. She didn’t experience swelling or irritation until weeks later when she began having stomach pains that eventually led to her throwing up blood. Her sister took her to the hospital. Smith woke up on January 20 with no knowledge of what happened.

Doctors informed Smith she had undergone a liver transplant after suffering liver failure.

“She responded overwhelmingly to the virus and her body was working on clearing it, but it killed her liver,”  said Dr. Lew Teperman, director of organ transplantation at Northwell Health in Long Island, New York.

Three days after her hospital admission, Smith miraculously received a liver from a donor after it became available from a deceased 35-year-old woman.

Teperman is 90% sure the infection started from her nose ring, which he noticed when she was admitted.

“The timing was perfect for it having caused the hepatitis B and the fulminant failure,” he said. “There were no other risk factors at all. This was it — it all made sense.”

So ladies, next time you get a piercing or tattoo be sure to do you research on the shop.

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