£30,000 for Hinckley op woman Sarah Newton who felt surgeon cut into her stomach
A woman has described the horror of waking up during an operation and feeling surgeons cut into her stomach.
Sarah Newton, from Hinckley, lay paralysed and unable to tell doctors she was awake for 40 minutes before the operation ended.
The 32-year-old resorted to counting each stitch and staple to close her wound as she waited for the nightmare to end.
She was having surgery at Coventry Hospital to try to drain fluid from her brain to her stomach.
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It aimed to relieve pressure on her brain caused by inter-cranial hypertension – a condition which causes severe headaches and could lead to blindness.
Ms Newton has received £30,000 in compensation from the hospital, and, although her ordeal was in April 2011, has said she has only just felt able to talk about it.
She said: "I remember waking up to a massive amount of pain – no word can describe it as I felt the surgeon cut my stomach.
"I was really confused. I wasn't sure what was going on. In my head I felt as if I was screaming out loud but no sound was coming out.
"I tried to move and couldn't because of the muscle relaxant I had been given.
"I decided the only way I could get through it was to concentrate on what they were doing and counted the stitches and staples they used."
As the medication wore off, Ms Newton was so traumatised she became hysterical.
She said: "As soon as the nurses understood what had happened they called the anaesthetist.
"I told him I was awake during the operation and he immediately said he was sorry.
"He had apparently changed the way he usually does things and stopped the anaesthetic too early. He was mortified."
Ms Newton, who has a son, Jack, eight, and a daughter, Holly, five, has been paid £30,000 by the University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
She said: "It has never been about the money – I would much rather it had never happened. I am angry because my life has changed.
"I used to be outgoing and take my kids all over the place.
"Now, I don't leave the house unless I am with someone because I worry about having an accident and being unconscious."
Ms Newton has had to have four further operations and will need more surgery.
She said: "Because I panic so much I have to have gas before the operation."
Meghana Pandit, chief medical officer at Coventry Hospital, said: "On behalf of the trust, I apologise profusely to Ms Newton for her pain and distress.
"An apology was made and counselling offered. The trust is confident all steps have been taken to minimise future repetition."