A mum has told how she was struck down with crippling post-partum psychosis after her intestines burst out through her c-section scar – and she went for five days without sleep.
Kelly Clarke, 31, gave birth to her baby, Taylon, in February by planned c-section at Leighton Hospital, UK, but a week later was back in hospital for a second op to fix the incision.
The mum-of-four had been plagued by agonising stomach pains and claims she went back to the hospital three times to raise concerns.
But she was horrified when she felt something wet and warm coming out of the incision – and realised it was a part of her intestines.
“I went the hospital three times after my planned c-section begging for help because something didn’t feel right in my stomach,” she said.
Kelly was rushed to hospital and emergency surgery was carried out – but when she awoke from the anaesthetic, her life began to spiral out of control.
Kelly was unsurprisingly shaken and the ordeal saw her mental state decline.
She didn’t sleep for five days, became convinced her son was dying, and phoned her family in a panic up to 60 times a day.
“Whilst Taylon was in my care I was constantly paranoid, the slightest bit of wind or sick and I thought he was choking,” she said.
“When he emptied his bowels and if it was watery I thought he was very ill and kept demanding a doctor for him.”
Poorly Kelly was also mistakenly convinced she was in line for a $540,000 hospital payout and went on a shopping spree buying $3,500 of new clothes, trainers and electrical items.
In the grip of her illness, she even threw her family’s belongings out into the street.
Her brother Tom Skeldon, 32, and mum Denise Clarke, 53, intervened when they saw a Facebook Live video of Kelly telling the world she was dying, and begging for help.
“I was completely a different person to the woman I am, and I still didn’t believe it was me in the Facebook Live videos when I watched them back,” Kelly recalled.
“I was screaming for help in the videos and telling everyone I was dying, and I was begging for my mum and Tom to help me.
“I watched all my videos back and then deleted them from social media – I was constantly asking my family if it was actually me doing that.”
Single mum Kelly was taken to hospital by police and eventually sectioned to a secure mother and baby unit where she was treated for post-partum psychosis for two months.
Mum Denise took care of Kelly’s other children Talisha Brookshaw, 14, Tiffany Brookshaw, 12, and Theo Clarke, aged six, while brother Tom cared for her newborn.
“I’d been up half the night googling her symptoms and postpartum psychosis popped up and she was displaying all these same symptoms and behaviours,” Tom said.
“I was worried in case it was sepsis from the two major operations.
“Kelly was manic all day, talking about things that weren’t true and hallucinating so I got her to the doctors.
“But all she could tell them was that she’d had five days with no sleep.”
She was given medication to stabilise her and was released on April 30.
Now home and back with her family, brave Kelly, from Cheshire, decided to speak out to raise awareness of post-partum psychosis.
“I still to this day believe that the hospital messed up with my c-section big time and neglected me in a huge way, and I do think this triggered it,” she claimed.
A spokesman for Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said they were unable to comment about individual patients, but would like to emphasise that any issues raised regarding a patient’s treatment are taken very seriously.
“In this case, we have not received any correspondence in relation to any concerns about the level of care provided to Ms Clarke,” the statement read.
“The patient’s care has been reviewed, however, and we are confident that it was appropriate and that we did everything we could at the time.
“This review did not highlight any medical errors or deficiencies in care.
“However, as with all procedures conducted in healthcare, post procedure complications can occur and these are discussed with the patient prior to treatment.
“We would encourage the patient to contact our Customer Care Team so that any further support or reassurance can be offered.”
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