When Lindsey Hubley visited a hospital complaining of a “sharp, distinct, abdominal pain” a few days after giving birth, she says doctors blamed constipation without examining her.
The 33-year-old Canadian woman then headed home, only to return to IWK Health Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the next day, per the Canadian Press.
This time, doctors did not blame constipation. Hubley, who went immediately into surgery, was experiencing secondary septic shock and multi-system organ failure, reports the Washington Post.
Seven months later, she remains hospitalized following a hysterectomy and amputations of all four limbs—an outcome Hubley attributes to doctor negligence in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The new mom was eventually diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease. “Our allegations are that had she been properly assessed when she presented at the hospital … a substantial part of the damage, if not all of it, could have been prevented,” says her attorney.
He adds that his client suffered a vaginal tear during the birth and that part of the placenta was not removed, both of which could have contributed to the infection.
According to the CDC, flesh-eating disease most often occurs when bacteria enters the body through a break in the skin. “No mom should ever have to watch their fiance and their son walk out the door every night for over 200 days,” adds Hubley’s partner, Mike Sampson, 34, referring to Hubley’s long hospital stay. “Our lives have been turned upside down.”
IWK has not responded.