Alicia's Story - Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie, Ontario

January 2017 - I was admitted to hospital at 30 weeks pregnant with extremely high blood pressure and failing kidneys. My OB had discussed with me that I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and I would need a C-section. He assumed we would wait until 34 weeks due to the high risk for the baby and myself. 

The third morning I was in there, I awoke with a pressure at the top of my stomach. When my nurse came in, I discussed how I was feeling and she told me she thought it could be gas and that I could go for a small walk, if anything were to change I was to alert her immediately. After my walk, the pain worsened to the point of not being able to breathe. It was around that time the vomiting began. I called for my nurse who insisted it was gas and gave me gravol for the vomiting. 

I was in tears. I was alone and scared that something was wrong. I had never felt a pain so strong and crushing before. I continued to call my nurse only to be ignored. It had been 8 hours of excruciating pain when a different nurse finally came in. She immediately ran to get my OB and within minutes I was being taken for a C-section. I was in class 3 HELLP syndrome. My liver was about to burst. I was about to die. I almost lost my life and my nurse thought it was gas.

I am a plus size girl. More often than not my health isn't seen as important due to my size. I understand HELLP syndrome isn't very common and is easily misdiagnosed, but it's a matter of life and death at that point. The patient should be treated with respect and have their issues looked into. All medical staff should be aware of any and all signs of HELLP.

My nurse during my C-section, as well as family, reported the nurse whose care I had been under. To my knowledge nothing has been done.

Since the birth of my child, I have suffered severe postpartum depression from the events as well as living with liver issues. I can no longer have a healthy pregnancy due to the damages that were caused from being left in the state I was. I'm petrified to even think of going through any of that again.

Submitted by Alicia