‘I was begging to die’: Woman is left in excruciating pain for YEARS after a hospital botched a simple procedure and set her fractured wrist in the wrong position
- Queensland woman Katrina Vella broke her wrist after falling off a bar in 2015
- She has launched legal action against Townsville Hospital over her treatment
- She alleges her wrist plaster was set in wrong position causing her severe pain
- During a follow up operation she alleges four of her tendons were severed
- Years later she is still in pain and has lost most of the use of her left hand
- Townsville Hospital said it would not comment on a matter before the courts
A simple trip to hospital to treat a fractured wrist left a woman in excruciating pain years later due to alleged mistake by hospital staff.
Katrina Vella, 46, had been dancing on a bar in June 2015 when she fell and injured her left wrist.
She attended Townsville Hospital emergency department and, after getting an X-ray that confirmed the broken wrist, she was told she would need a cast.
This is where Ms Vella’s troubles started, according to a statement of claim put forward by Shine Lawyers, after the hospital staff member allegedly set the plaster on her wrist in the wrong position, reports news.com.au.
What should have been a simple trip to the hospital to treat a fractured wrist for Katrina Vella left her in excruciating pain years later due to alleged mistake by hospital staff
She attended Townsville Hospital emergency department and, after getting an X-ray that confirmed the broken wrist, she was told she would need a cast
Ms Vella claims her wrist was set bending at a 45 degree angle to her arm and that she told hospital staff her left fingers felt numb and her pain level was at ’10 out of 10′.
Despite her complaints she was sent home that day.
‘I was in excruciating pain. My fingers were swollen, my whole hand was hot and burning but I thought it was all a normal part of having a broken wrist,’ Ms Vella said.
At a follow-up appointment 10 days later the doctor asked if he could take a photo of the way her hand was set in the plaster, commenting he had never seen anything like it.
At the appointment another X-ray was done confirming the wrist was not healing correctly but, remarkably, Ms Vella claims she was sent home again and told to come back in three weeks.
Ms Vella said she assumed staff would not send her away unless the hand was in the position it was supposed to be in.
‘That position, if you can imagine, is like having your thumb bent under your hand and then also bent over facing towards you kind of like in a sock puppet position.’
When Ms Vella’s cast was removed after seven weeks with her wrist set in the wrong position, she found she had very little use of her hand.
She says her fingers would not bend and her wrist was stiff and had muscle wasting.
After months of physiotherapy and medications that affected her driving, memory, and caused her sleep apnoea her wrist showed no signs of getting better.
In February 2016 an MRI revealed she would now need surgery to fix her wrist.
‘Six days short of a year (since the broken wrist) I went into surgery. I woke up from the operation screaming in pain. I was begging a room full of strangers to let me die, that’s how bad it was.’ Ms Vella said.
In February 2016 an MRI revealed Ms Vella would now need surgery to fix her wrist
At another meeting with the hospital 10 weeks after the operation staff informed her that four of her tendons were severed.
In August 2016 she travelled to Brisbane where she was operated on to fix the tendons and then placed in another cast.
Her nightmare was not over yet, however, having to undergo a third surgery in April 2017 to remove a plate Townsville Hospital had inserted that was allegedly causing damage.
The ordeal has now left Ms Vella with chronic pain, nerve damage, and she has not been able to return to work.
Ms Vella has now launched legal action against Townsville Hospital through Shine Lawyers.
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, the hospital said the matter would be tested in court.
‘The Townsville Hospital and Health Service does not comment on matters before the court.’ Townsville Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Mr Kieran Keyes told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Any claim needs to be tested by the courts based on evidence from both parties.’