A new mother had to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance after her surgical scar reopened following a caesarian – and she was forced to catch her own bowel and intestines.
Sam Bell, 28, gave birth to daughter Chloe Terman by planned caesarian and was released three days later after being given the all clear by doctors.
She was then visited at her home by a midwife five days after giving birth and they routinely removed the stitch.
But shortly after the simple procedure Sam swung her legs off the bed to stand up and felt like her trousers were sticking to her.
She opened her trousers and was horrified to see her wound reopen before her eyes – and her bowel and intestines tumbled out.
Mother-of-two Sam then lay waiting for an ambulance to arrive for 40 minutes before she was taken back to hospital where she underwent surgery.
Sam, from Liphook, Hampshire, is now on the road to recovery after having staples put in her stomach, but says the experience was a difficult one to deal with.
She said: “I just felt this twinge. It almost felt like my trousers were stuck to my stomach, so I pulled them open.
“I looked down and as I did that my wound opened and my bowel and intestines just fell out.”
“Obviously I shouted and my partner came running in and the midwife came running in and that was the only time I looked at it because I just couldn’t bear to look at it any more.
“The midwife asked what happened, so I opened my trousers and showed her – she had a fright herself because she’d never seen anything like it before.
“Then she said ok, just lay down on the bed and they called an ambulance. That took 40 minutes to come, it took a long time to get there.
“We waited for the ambulance which eventually came, because it had been so long my partner recalled and said ‘where’s the ambulance?’.
“They said, well we’ve got your call but we haven’t got an ambulance to bring you, we’re so busy we can’t get one to you.
“So then they increased it to life threatening and then within five, ten minutes the ambulance was there.
“It was quite tough because I was crying but trying not to cry because I didn’t know how much else could come out of me.
“I just didn’t know what to do, so I just thought lay and breathe deeply.
“Obviously I did cry because my newborn baby, because I breast feed, was starting to cry so she was just screaming her head off and it was really tough to be honest.
“Something inside me just said you have to keep it together and stay strong.”
Sam gave birth by elected caesarian at St Hellier’s Hospital on March 24, following a difficult natural birth with her 15-month-old son, Mitchell Terman.
She was then visited by a midwife on Sunday March 29, when she had her stitches removed – resulting in the wound reopening – which is extremely rare.
Sam, who was supported by her partner, Matt Terman, 28, during the incident said everything was made worse by not being to help her crying children who were home at the time.
Following an operation, which required 20 staples to hold her organs in place, Sam spent a further four days in hospital, returning home on April 2.
She described the pain as “excruciating” and said the incident tarnished the joy of becoming a mother.
“The pain was, I can’t really describe the pain, it was excruciating. It was horrible.”
“I still get slight little tinges now, because I’ve got a 15-month-old son whose a bit boisterous, I sometimes get a flying arm or leg.
“My daughter was only born 6lbs 1oz but I just couldn’t hold her properly which obviously broke my heart, not to be able to hold my newborn baby.
“My son went between my partner and my mum and my dad for a few days because I just couldn’t have him at the hospital with me, that was really really tough.
“I didn’t want him to think he was being passed from person to person.”
Sam recently went back to the hospital hoping to get answers about why it had happened but said she felt “fobbed off” during consolations.
She added: “I had an appointment this week with the hospital to get some answers.
“They asked if I was healing ok, but I told them I need to know who’s at fault, what happened and why it happened.
“All they said to me is ‘it’s just one of those things’. I was like ‘are you kidding me?’.
“They fobbed it off saying ‘well yeah it is rare, but it does happen’.
“I just feel as though I’ve been fobbed off. It’s a rare situation to happen but I just want women to be aware that it can happen.”
A spokesperson for St Hellier’s hospital said: “We offer our full and sincerest apologies to Ms Bell for what must have been a very distressing experience.
“Immediately following this incident, a full review and investigation was launched.
“The investigation, which is being led by the most senior members of our medical and maternity teams, is still ongoing and as such, we are unable to comment on the details of the case any further.
“Once completed, our investigation will allow us to establish what measures, if any, can be taken to avoid a similar event occurring in future.
“We will be sharing our findings with Ms Bell and in the meantime, are working with her to ensure we offer full help and support over the coming weeks.”
Catherine Hayles, a midwife from the Association of Radical Midwives, said: “Is is a very rare occurrence but it does occasionally happen.
“It wouldn’t just happen as a result of the stitches on the outside being removed, there are at least a couple of layers of sutures inside as well and in cases like this they have come loose.
“Like I said it does occasionally happen but it’s uncommon.
“If it does happen it is best to lie the lady down and put some clean pads on her and call an ambulance.
“Obviously it’s a horrible thing to happen but it has been known to happen.”