Over the past decade, my dear wife has given birth to three children, and do you know what I found the most terrifying part of the whole process? The epidural.
Though I’m thankful for fast and effective pain relief, the thought that an anesthesiologist would have to insert a needle into her spine made me shudder. And given the lingering harm done by such a procedure to one Navy wife, it seems my trepidation was justified.
On September 5, 2003, Amy Bright gave birth to her youngest son, a boy named Jacob, at a Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.
The new mother started experiencing terrible agony in her back and left leg immediately after she awoke from a C-section. The worst part? It never went away.
“It feels like fire, like a poker next to my tailbone,” Bright explained to First Coast News. “And then on occasion, it shoots down the left side of my leg on my calf, like my calf side, and then down and into my foot.”
For 14 years, various doctors struggled to diagnose her, eventually settling on sciatica, a common nerve disorder. But Bright finally learned the truth after getting a CT scan in 2017, and it’s the stuff of nightmares.
The image revealed a three-centimeter needle embedded in her spine, a needle that nearly protruded all the way through the bone. When her epidural was removed, the needle broke off — and no one tried to remove it.
Worse yet, though her medical records showed an unsuccessful spinal needle attempt, it never showed that the needle still remained inside her. In fact, no one even bothered to tell Bright what had happened.
“If they were any kind of human whatsoever, they would’ve said, ‘Hey, I’m sorry I made a huge mistake, let’s fix it,’” Bright said. “But instead they didn’t tell me.”
“This represents a cowardly, unethical cover-up by personnel at Naval Hospital Jacksonville,” her attorney, Sean Cronin, stated. “When you pull out the needle, you look at the needle and make sure that tip is there.”
Bright has filed a claim against the government, and according to First Coast News, the authorities have six months to respond.
After that, a lawsuit will be filed if the parties to this sad, unjust situation can’t reach a settlement.
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