Woman Loses Four Limbs After Giving Birth to Son, Refuses to Give Up

May 27, 2019 Updated: June 10, 2019

A 35-year-old woman who had all her limbs amputated after she contracted a flesh-eating bacteria during childbirth in a Canadian hospital has spoken out about the experience two years later.

Lindsey Hubley, 35, from Nova Scotia, gave birth to her son, Myles, in March 2017 when she contracted flesh-eating necrotizing fasciitis.

She was first discharged from the hospital after the delivery, but she was soon rushed to the hospital again after she experienced abdominal pain and skin discoloration.

In an interview with Topic Magazine, she discussed her experience of being a quadruple amputee and a mother.

Hubley said that it was worth it to give birth to her son, saying, “I would do this all over again to have him.”

Days after her life-changing operation, the mother said it’s been a struggle and process to bond with her young son since she left the hospital, according to the magazine. She spent about 420 days in the Izaak Walton Killam Health Center in Nova Scotia while she recovered.

‘There’s no book for this,” she told the magazine.

Myles, she said, bonded with her husband and other adults in her life when she was in the hospital. Now, she does all the motherly tasks, including putting the boy to bed, feeding him, and reading stories to him.

“Myles and I make our way into the hospital pretty much every day to see mama,” husband Mike Sampson told CTV News in 2017. “Our lives have been turned upside down.”

She also described the flesh-eating bacterial infection, saying that her hands turned black in spring 2017 and produced a bad smell.

“For a long time I was terrified of my fingers falling off,” the magazine quoted Hubley as saying.

After three months, she said, her hands and wrists were amputated due to the bacteria. A month later, her left leg was amputated below the knee and her right leg was also amputated to the kneecap. Doctors also had to remove other vital reproductive organs due to the infection.

She noted that she had 32 surgeries in all, and when she returned, Hubley had to learn how to walk and use the bathroom again on her own, according to the publication.

Hubley also got a prosthetic arm last week, although Topic estimated that prosthetic hands cost about $148,000 and have to be approved by an insurance company.

In 2017, she also filed a lawsuit against Izaak Walton Killam Health Center and five of its doctors, accusing them of negligence.

“What Lindsey and her family have gone through over these past seven months is incomprehensible,” her attorney, Raymond Wagner, said in a press release at the time. “She is truly a survivor, and remarkably has maintained a positive and determined attitude along her long road to recovery, all while juggling the struggles, and joys, of a newborn.”

In the lawsuit, it was alleged that doctors did not perform an examination on Hubley when she returned to the hospital complaining about cramps on March 5, the day after being discharged after giving birth. They instead diagnosed her with constipation and sent her home at the time.

Topic magazine noted that she felt “lethargy” and “uncontrollable shaking” in the emergency room, and it reiterated her claim that doctors told her that she was constipated when she complained about cramps. After 24 hours, she was placed in a medically induced coma.

Symptoms

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one needs to act quickly to deal with necrotizing fasciitis because it “spreads quickly in the body and can cause death.”

“Accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment, and prompt surgery are important to stopping this infection. See a doctor right away if you have a fever, dizziness, or nausea soon after an injury or surgery,” the agency warns on its website.

A stock photo of necrotizing fasciitis. (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)

The bacteria tends to enter the body via a break in the skin, including cuts, scrapes, burns, bites, puncture wounds such as from needles, and surgical wounds.

Symptoms include a red or swollen area of skin that spreads quickly, fever, and severe pain in the area of the swollen area.

More advanced symptoms, says the CDC, include blisters, black spots on the skin, ulcers, skin discoloration, pus from the skin, nausea or diarrhea, fatigue, and dizziness.

It says that anyone can contract the bacteria, noting that it is rare.

“Most cases of necrotizing fasciitis occur randomly. It is very rare for someone with necrotizing fasciitis to spread the infection to other people. For this reason, doctors usually do not give preventive antibiotics to close contacts of someone with necrotizing fasciitis,” the agency says.

Recommended