A woman was left in a coma for four weeks and at one point had only three days to live after contracting sepsis from gastric sleeve surgery.
However, she later visited her doctor due to severe discomfort after the operation.
Although she is showing all the telltale signs of sepsis, she has simply been told to “go home and take paracetamol”.
About a week later, Laura – who lost 10 stones as a result of the procedure – was rushed to hospital with a perforated bowel.
She was placed in a induced coma and spent four months in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as doctors battled to save her life.
At one point, she only had three days to live and she now has a permanent ostomy bag that needs to be changed up to 12 times a day.
She said: âAt first I thought my pain must just be due to my recovery from the sleeve surgery.
âHowever, it seemed to be getting worse. It got to the point where I was having trouble staying conscious so Steve called an ambulance.
âAfter that, I really don’t remember anything until I got out of my coma.
âIt was then that the reality of the severity of my illness was touched. The doctors said it was really about whether I was going to get there.
âSince then, life has been a struggle. I still suffer from fatigue and I get tired very easily. I am aware of my stoma.
âWe cannot be spontaneous and leave for the day. If I want to go out, I have to plan everything in advance and find out what facilities are nearby.
âMe and Steve have always wanted to start a family and thought that surgery would be the start of a new part of our life.
âHowever, the doctors told me that I would have a hard time conceiving naturally because of my injuries, so the only option is IVF.
âI was also told that the chances of this being successful are also greatly reduced because of what I have been through.
âWe’ve always wanted two kids, but to think now that we might not be able to have one is incredibly upsetting.
âI didn’t know much about sepsis and how dangerous it can be until I got sick.
“Now I want others to realize how dangerous this can be and how important it is to be aware of the possible signs of the disease.”
Laura had gastric sleeve surgery on January 3, 2017 and was discharged the next day.
But four days later, she developed a rash on her hands and started complaining of pain when urinating.
Laura, who was also feeling tired and lethargic, saw a GP two days later when the rash began to spread. She was prescribed steroids used to treat allergies.
Steve, 40, made an emergency appointment with a GP for Laura on January 20, fearing she had a fever, was out of breath and needed to be sustained to get up.
Laura’s condition continued to deteriorate over the next few days and Steve called the NHS 111 helpline on January 29.
Laura was taken to hospital by ambulance and diagnosed with a perforated bowel following tests.
She underwent emergency surgery in the early hours of January 30 and underwent six more procedures to remove infected tissue from her body.
Laura emerged from her coma on February 27 and returned home on May 23, 2017.
She was in the hospital for the remainder of 2017 due to illness and stoma issues.
She continues to suffer from mobility problems and fatigue.
Laura was unable to resume her work as a health and social assessor for two years.
Lawyers acting on Laura’s behalf said the GP, through their insurer, agreed to an undisclosed settlement after denying any liability.
They argued that during the appointment on January 20, 2017, the GP failed to perform a number of crucial tests, including taking Laura’s blood pressure.
Jennifer Shipley, medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: âLaura was hopeful that surgery would help her and Steve achieve their dream of becoming parents.
âHowever, that did not happen with Laura who has spent the last few years trying to come to terms with the physical and psychological impact of sepsis on her life.
âWhile nothing can make up for what happened, we are happy to have secured this settlement for Laura, allowing her to access the ongoing care and support she needs and which we hope will. will now allow us to try to look to the future.
âSepsis is an incredibly dangerous disease that can have devastating consequences.
âWe join Laura in urging everyone to be aware of the signs of sepsis. Early detection and treatment are essential to overcome it.
“The doctor did not investigate further to rule out or diagnose potential sepsis and did not send Laura to the hospital for further investigation.”