Woman wakes up from C-section to find both legs amputated

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TORQUAY, Devon — A woman went into the hospital for a cesarean section and woke up several days later to find both of her legs amputated below the knee.

The Torquay Herald Express reports that Ella Clarke, 31, is speaking out now as she recovers from the alleged malpractice in December, 2015.

Twenty weeks after Clarke found out she was pregnant with her eighth child, doctors diagnosed her with a condition known as placenta previa, which can cause complications during childbirth.

Because of her condition, she would require a C-section. During the procedure, however, Clarke suffered a complication called placenta accreta, and lost a large amount of blood. Placenta accreta can be common among women like Clarke who had undergone multiple C-sections — she has had six.

Doctors decided to perform an emergency hysterectomy and put her into an induced coma. With blood clots a known danger following such a surgery, the patient is supposed to be monitored hourly.

Clarke alleges that doctors did not check on her for six hours, allowing blood to clot in her legs and cut off circulation, the paper reported. The decision was eventually made to amputate her legs.

Five days later, she woke up.

“I remember the moment I woke up. I thought I was waking up from my C-section. I expected my beautiful little baby girl to be passed to me. I had no idea I’d been in a coma,” she told the Torquay Herald Express.

Clarke says she is now learning to use prosthetic legs but is “a shadow of my former self.”

“Going into the hospital to have a baby should have been the best moment of my life,” she said. “Instead my world has been shattered.”

A spokesman for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust released the following statement to the paper:

We would like to offer our sympathy to Ms C. We are carrying out a full and thorough investigation and at this time it is not appropriate for us to make further comment. We are in regular discussion with Ms C and her partner to ensure they are kept up to date.


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