Hospital Horror: Black mother sues after doctors amputate her hands and feet

A mother from Charlotte, North Carolina, is suing for medical malpractice after an ectopic pregnancy led her to lose her hands and feet.

Adrienne Harris‘ lawyers say the medical mistakes occured in July 2015 when doctors at CMC-Main scheduled her for a routine surgery to have her fallopian tube removed.

According to attorney Charles Monnett, what should have been an overnight stay turned into something much worse when a hole in her small intestine caused sepsis when the contents started to leak into her abdomen.

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“During her surgery, there was an injury to her bowel that went undetected, undiagnosed, and unrepaired,” Monnett said, according to local station WSOCTV.

It was another two days before the doctors even discovered the medical mistakes.

“It just snowballed. One mistake after the other,” Monnett said.

Eventually, doctors removed parts of her small bowel and colon, and Harris had to undergo several more surgeries as she remained in poor condition. Gangrene set into her hands and feet, and ultimately, they were amputated.

“No one can imagine what it would be like to suddenly wake up one day with no hands and no feet,” Monnett said.

Taking on North Carolina

Harris, who can now no longer digest food by mouth, has included House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger as defendants in her suit and argues against the cap as an “arbitrary and capricious deprivation of the constitutional rights of an injured individual to recover non-economic damages.”

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Because of the severity of Harris’ injuries and the impact on her life, Monnett argued that a jury should grant her non-economic damages above the $500,000 cap.

“She’s lost her ability to live a normal life. She’s lost the ability to care for her children,” Monnett said. “Why should the politicians in Raleigh be allowed to tell her what that is worth?”

Black women often receive poor medical care

Serena Williams recently caused a stir online with a Vogue interview sharing her scary post-partum moments after giving birth to her daughter.

According to Vogue:
“She walked out of the hospital room so her mother wouldn’t worry and told the nearest nurse, between gasps, that she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away. The nurse thought her pain medicine might be making her confused. But Serena insisted, and soon enough a doctor was performing an ultrasound of her legs. ‘I was like, a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip,’ she remembers telling the team. The ultrasound revealed nothing, so they sent her for the CT, and sure enough, several small blood clots had settled in her lungs. Minutes later she was on the drip. ‘I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!’”

After that harrowing situation, Williams popped open her fresh C-section wound from the forceful coughing caused by the blood clots. Williams and her daughter are now faring well, but women on Twitter rallied together to highlight that Williams’ post-partum experience is not uncommon for women, especially Black women.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy or childbirth.