Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Saturday, 24 January 2009

Brazil model dies from infection

By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo

A 2006 shot of Mariana Bridi
The model had complained of feeling ill in December

A 20-year-old Brazilian model whose feet and hands were amputated due to an infection has died in hospital.

Mariana Bridi died in the early hours of Saturday morning after struggling for weeks against the illness.

Doctors were said to have amputated both her feet and her hands and removed part of her stomach in an effort to save her life.

The hospital in Brazil's Espirito Santo state said she died from complications related to a generalised infection.

Mariana Bridi was said to have first sought medical help in December when she felt unwell. It was reported that medical staff initially thought she had kidney stones, before she was later diagnosed with a urinary infection, caused by a rare type of bacteria.

By the time this was detected, the 20-year-old model had developed the blood infection septicaemia.

Before her illness Mariana Bridi seemed to be in the initial stages of a highly successful career. She was twice a finalist in the Brazilian stage of the Miss World competition.

News of her illness attracted attention around the world, and friends said they had received messages of support from many different countries.

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