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A women left in ‘hell’ for nine years after poor postnatal care

It has been nine years living “like a prisoner” in “excruciating” pain and Kate is still facing a wait for surgery to tackle the horrifying mistakes in her postnatal care.

Despite a difficult birth at Leeds General Hospital, Kate described the atmosphere at the trust’s labour ward as “lovely”.

However, her experience quickly deteriorated into “hell” after she was told she had third-degree tears and was admitted to a postnatal ward, describing the care she received as “awful”.

A few days following her discharge, which occurred before she’d had a bowel movement, Kate said she was left “screaming in pain” at home, “bleeding a lot from the back passage” and “incontinent”.

Despite reporting these symptoms to the maternity department, Kate was told it was a “normal” experience.

“I felt like nobody was listening to me,” Kate said.

After six months, living in “intense pain”, with “flooding diarrhoea” and not able to leave the house, she was told by the NHS her symptoms were down to postnatal depression.

She was referred to a colorectal surgeon, who found her anal sphincter was “fully open almost as if it wasn’t ever stitched”.

Following an operation in 2015 to fix the issue, Kate developed sepsis, nearly losing her life and meaning it took 18 weeks for her wound to heal.

However, her ordeal did not stop there. She had developed nerve damage, chronic pelvic pain, incontinence, coxalgia and a prolapse as a result of her problems being neglected for so long.

By 2022, nine years later, she is now waiting for a colostomy bag operation – the only option to address her pain.

Kate told The Independent: “Everywhere I go I have to plan the full day. I need to know where the toilets are. I don’t go out of the house. I’ve felt like a prisoner in my own home for nine years.

“It makes me so emotional thinking about everything they have put me through. It hasn’t just affected my life, it’s also affected my partner and family. I have lost so much time that I’ll never get back. I couldn’t enjoy life and do the things that all mothers do with their babies.

“There was no care, no sympathy, nothing. Nobody cared for me apart from my surgeon at Sheffield. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to feel normal. I can’t remember life without pain."

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Source: The Independent, 13 March 2022


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