In June 2010, Linda – who had three caesareans prior to this surgery – was at Latrobe Regional Hospital in Traralgon, Victoria for the birth of her daughter via caesarean, reports The Age.
Although the baby was delivered safely, Linda began to hemorrhage from her uterus. The bleeding was so bad, her heart stopped twice.
Linda had a condition called placenta accrete, which meant her placenta attached to her uterus instead of detaching like it usually would. The condition is often linked to having scars on the uterus, which may have been caused by previous caesareans. Doctors failed to pick up on it during her pregnancy.
Doctors desperately tried to stop the bleeding and used dozens of units of blood in an attempt to prevent further blood loss. Their attempt at a hysterectomy to stem the bleeding failed, and Linda was sent to Monash Medical Centre for specialist treatment.
Her husband told The Age Linda was unrecogisable when she arrived in Melbourne. Her face was completely swollen, and within 12 hours, one of her legs turned black because she had lost so much blood.
The 39-year-old spent the following week in intensive care, where she was surrounded by her husband Jamie and their four daughters, including her new baby who lay on her chest.
11 days after the caesarean, her family made the decision to switch off the ventilator that was keeping her alive because her brain damage was so extensive.
Linda’s family sued Linda’s obstetrican Andre Paul Hugo and Latrobe Regional Hospital. They settled with a confidential pay-out.
‘It breaks my heart that my youngest daughter will never know her mother,’ Jamie says to The Age. ‘This should never have happened.’