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Phoenix woman suffers major infection after nail salon visit

Posted: 7:54 AM, Mar 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-31 14:43:54Z

A woman claims she suffered a small cut on her finger from the nail salon she's been going to for more than a decade. Two weeks later, she found herself in the hospital having surgery due to a major infection, and there's a chance she may have to have her finger amputated. 

The image of Maria Luisa Gerardo's finger is extremely graphic — a wound that goes all the way down to the bone. 

"I cover my face when they come in here and take (the bandage) off because I don't wanna see it," said Gerardo. "I don't. I'm scared."

Gerardo made her regular visit to TJ Nails, a place she's been going to for more than a decade, where they call her "Mama." 

But two weeks ago she claims she received a small cut on her finger. 

"A little open wound, here on the side of my finger," said Gerardo.

A day later, her finger started swelling. Gerardo went to Urgent Care, where they put her on antibiotics.

She went back to the nail salon, and she says they offered her $100.

"He told me, 'It's nothing. Just clean your hand and buy your medicine, and it will come off," said Gerardo. 

But it only got worse, and Gerardo had to go into surgery.

"Pretty excruciating to see," said Gerardo's son Victor. "I don't like to see my mom in pain."

Victor was by his mom's side during the surgery and days following. 

"He cleaned as much as he could, to try and salvage the finger," said Victor. "He told me, he kept cutting and cutting the tissue around her finger until it bled, because that was good skin."

Gerardo says a man named Bill was the technician who cut her nails that day. Employees at TJ Nails claim he no longer works at the salon and recently moved out of state.

Bill said in a phone interview that he never cut Gerardo's nails and he knew her very well and did nothing wrong. 

Meantime, Gerardo is looking for answers and waiting to see if she will be able to keep her finger. 

"This is the only thing I ever liked doing to myself, my nails," said Gerardo. "But now, with this that happened to my hand, I never want to do this in my life."

The family reported TJ Nails to the state. They are planning on working with a lawyer to take legal action against the salon.