Post link 04 June 2016, 5:42
Doctors delivered Winter Rose at 6lbs 5ozs, but Ella lost six litres of blood due to a complication which can affect women who have had past caesareans.

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Ella Clarke's children play happily together

An emergency hysterectomy was performed and she had five blood transfusions.

Ella was instantly placed into an induced coma and transferred to intensive care.

She needed to be monitored hourly for the next 24 hours as she would be prone to clotting.

But doctors allegedly forgot to check. Six hours are said to have passed before she was seen and, by this point, her legs had clotted and circulation had stopped.

She was rushed into theatre where two surgeons battled to recover circulation in both legs.

But it was too late. Her tissue was already giving off poisonous toxins which could stop her heart.

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Ella Clarke from Torquay, Devon, before she had to have her legs amputated

The doctors decided to amputate both legs below the knee. It saved Ella’s life, but also changed it for ever.

After eight hours of surgery Ella was taken to recovery, and five days later she woke up from the coma.

She says: “I remember the moment. 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.

“Instead I was told doctors had amputated my legs. At the time I was in a haze of medication.

“But the reality started to hit home when Winter Rose was placed in my arms and my restricted future flashed before me.

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Ella Clarke says her life changed beyond all recognition

Tears were rolling down my cheeks and Ian was cuddling me. He was crying too.”

She left hospital 23 days later and in March, received two hours of counselling and prosthetic legs.

After 10 hours of physio she is still trying to get used to them.

And so are her other children – Abbie, 13, Holly, 8, Heidi, 7, Blossom, 5, Oakley, 4, Izzy, 3, and Freddie, 2.

She says: “My five-year-old couldn’t look at me without a blanket on me as she was scared and my eldest daughter started falling behind at school. My family was falling apart and I was helpless.”

Ella and Ian demanded answers and a meeting was set up with Torbay Hospital.

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Letter to Ella Clarke from the NHS

The couple were informed of the hospital’s oversight and were issued an apology.

She says: “It was five months too late. I have eight children to look after, what life can I have now?

"This has impacted on us far worse than you can ever imagine. I will never stand on my own two feet again and that makes me shudder.”

In notes of a meeting Ella had with representatives of the South Devon NHS trust, the hospital admits staff failed to check her legs for six hours.

Ella says: “Had doctors been checking me hourly, I’d be fit and healthy and be able to play with my five-month-old baby like any other normal mother.

“Instead I’m a shadow of my former self and my kids are scared to cuddle me because my stumps frighten them.”

Ella’s home has been modified, with steps outside the property replaced with a ramp and a handrail up the stairs.

She says: “I have nightmares where I wake up dripping with sweat. Doctors have told me I have post-traumatic stress.

"I was a normal mum for 13 years. That’s been snatched away from me.”

Devastated Ian says: “When doctors told me what they had to do, my heart sank. But I was just happy she survived.

“I’m now more hands-on around the house. I’ll do whatever it takes to get back to our happy place.”

South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are carrying out a full investigation and it is not appropriate for us to make further comment.”



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Topic edited 2 times, last edit by RouTe, 04 June 2016, 5:58  

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