Having children is often a beautiful, life-changing milestone for couples. But for Yanica Barbara Sant, it was nothing short of a nightmare, which left her fighting for her life due to negligence and a downplaying of her pain.
A 30-year-old lawyer, Barbara Sant gave birth to her first child, a baby boy, via a cesarean operation on 25th January.
However, the spinal anaesthetic failed to kick in, and despite drawing the attention of medical staff, she was operated on until she started to faint. Only then was she given general anaesthetic.
“I thought hell was over, without a clue about what was waiting for me next,” she recalled.
Two days later, Barbara Sant was discharged from hospital but felt like she was going to die in pain.
“I knew there would be some pain after having such a major operation, but I knew something wasn’t right,” she warned.
She immediately notified her gynaecologist, but he downplayed her concerns, saying she just had a stomach infection.
He prescribed her some new medication over the phone and told her not to panic. But Barbara Sant reached out to a midwife for a second opinion.
“If it wasn’t for the midwife who came to see me at home and saw the state of me and my intense pain I wouldn’t be alive today. I told her I felt like I was dying and she thankfully believed me”
Barbara Sant was raced to the emergency room of Mater Dei. A CT Scan found a 7cm gauze was left in her intestines during the C-Section and was poisoning her.
“From here began a race against time with an extraordinary team of doctors at Mater Dei, paramedics, gynaecologists and radiologists,” she said.
Barbara Sant was immediately taken in for an emergency operation to remove the gauze. After eight days in a hospital bed, she finally got to spend a night with her new-born son Lucas.
“It was supposed to be the most beautiful times of our life as a family, but because of one negligent doctor who I trusted with my life, this wasn’t possible. I could have died because he thought I was exaggerating,” she explained, thanking all those that worked to save her life.
“What hurts the most was that the gynaecologist kept playing down my pain, simply prescribing more drugs over the phone,” the new mother continued.
“He even had an argument with the midwife, who warned we’d be wasting time and hospital resources if I went to get checked.”
Now at home, Barbara Sant has a long road to recovery. She is dependent on others for everyday things, and is suffering from palpitations and ploughing through a list of daily pills.
“I finally got to hold him against my chest and I cried my heart out with joy and pain. I’m in so much pain that I could barely hold him, I couldn’t even give him bottle or change a diaper. Now I finally feel like a mother,” she finished.
Lovin Malta has reached out to the Health Ministry about the case but received no reply at the time of writing.
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