Bungling NHS staff have been slammed for leaving a surgical sponge inside a woman's womb for 17 months following a botched operation.
Dawn White, 47, has been left "disgusted" by the ordeal and is seeking compensation from the hospital trust which treated her.
Medics discovered White was suffering from cancer, and she had an operation at Bradford Royal Infirmary to remove her womb and ovaries in July 2017. But the former office worker never properly recovered from the hysterectomy and struggled to get answers from doctors about what was wrong with her. It eventually transpired that a surgical sponge had been left inside her - and she underwent another operation to have it removed on Nov. 22 this year.
She is now cancer-free but is still suffering complications from the hysterectomy including kidney problems because of the toxins in her body from the sponge. The complications come after White, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was told it would take four months to recover from the initial operation.
"After the operation, everything got worse and worse," she said. “I was annoyed because it has taken them nearly 18 months to get sorted and I’m still in hospital now. I don’t like being in the hospital because I can’t really go anywhere because doctors want to keep an eye on me. To begin with I want an apology. I’ve not had one and now I want to know why someone did this and why I didn’t get an apology."
“I would like compensation for what I have been through for the last 18 months," she said. “It’s disgusting what I have gone through and now Christmas is on hold because I might be in here.”
“This is a hospital for human beings and it serves the whole of Bradford, so they should have been on the ball," White's veteran husband, Andrew, said. “This has dragged on and on, but now we know there was a sponge inside her and her body was attacking it. Now the doctors have said her kidneys are starting to stop working because of the toxins in her body from the sponge. I wouldn’t have wished this on my worst enemy because it’s not nice."
“They told me they were glad to have found it when they did, which has made me think what would have happened if they hadn’t found it," Andrew White said. “Someone needs to own up and say sorry. According to a surgeon, they found a sponge in her womb but my argument is how has it got in there? If someone had come to me and held their hands up the fine, but leaving her that long with something inside her is unbelievable."
“She is still in hospital and wants answers. We want someone to hold their hands up and say ‘yes, we made a mistake,'" he said.
The couple is now eager to meet with Professor Clive Kay, Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who they hope will investigate what happened.
"We are carrying out an investigation into Mrs White’s care and treatment and, in line with the Trust’s policy of openness, we will share our findings with her," a spokesman for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said. “We have apologized to Mrs. White for any harm or distress we may have caused and will continue to liaise with her as the investigation continues. We set high standards for ourselves and aim to get every patient’s treatment and care right, and in most cases we do. We are committed to providing high-quality healthcare for every patient.”