By Zoe Cassell
MEET the British mum Crowdfunding to raise £15K for reconstruction surgery after a botched NHS operation left her with a gaping hole in her stomach.
Jenny Adnett (31) who now describes herself as ‘disfigured and disgusting’ was left with the open gash you can see in these photographs after surgeons had to undo her stitches and drain her stomach of puss because they allegedly burst an abscess.
Mum-of-one Jenny, an administrative assistant from Ickenham in Greater London, was diagnosed with Chron’s disease at the age of 18.
Chron’s is a condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system.
A long-term and incurable disease which causes long periods of pain and discomfort, Chron’s sufferers can expect to be on medication for life or to have to go under the knife.
Since discovering she had Chron’s, Jenny said she had tried every drug under-the-sun twice, as well as an intravenous drug for over a year with absolutely no luck. Surgery was her last and only option.
“I had tried all of the drugs twice. The bowel was scarred and no amount of treatment would fix it so doctors suggested it should be removed.”
On 11 August 2015 at 8am Jenny had an invasive operation at Hillingdon Hospital in Uxbridge called a right hemicolectomy to remove the section of her bowel which was damaged beyond repair.
“Doctors had been round to tell me after the op that it was a success. I assumed everything was okay,” Jenny explained.
“I was in a slight bit of pain and discomfort but it was nothing in comparison to what I was about to experience.”
Less than twenty-four-hours after the operation Jenny was rushed to intensive care after waiting for five hours to be seen by a doctor.
“They initially told me I would have to wait because someone else was worse than me.
“It wasn’t until five hours later that they called a doctor who prescribed me morphine which I had to push a button for every thirty-seconds because the pain was so unbearable.”
As Jenny’s heart-rate dropped doctors and nurses scrambled to do tests.
“I had an oxygen mask on and I was drifting in and out of consciousness.
“I remember asking if I was dying but they wouldn’t answer me. They told me to stay calm.
“That was the last thing I remember before they rushed me to ICU.”
Her daughter Katie, who was seven at the time, was terrified that her mum was going to die.
“She didn’t want to go to school, she just wanted to be with me all the time because she thought she was going to lose me.
“When she came to see me it was a big shock and really traumatic for her.”
While in intensive care Jenny was given morphine and ketamine for the pain.
Jenny holds the surgical team who performed the op solely responsible for the state that her stomach has been left in.
“The team who performed the operation burst an abscess. Normally with this operation they would put a drain in to drain any infection out from the stomach but they didn’t do that with me.
“They felt like it wasn’t needed when in actual fact, if they had put the drain it, it would have prevented me from going into septic shock and ending up in intensive care.
“[In ICU] they then noticed that my wound was infected.
“First of all they removed two stitches from the bottom. Then when they were packing that [with dressings] and it wasn’t improving, they realised that all of the underneath was also infected so then they had to cut the whole wound open again.”
Medics refused to stitch Jenny’s stomach back up again because it kept pooling with puss. In the end Jenny was left with a gaping open hole in her stomach and a suction machine she had to use daily for six-weeks, which she comically named Dave.
As Dave began to pull the skin closer together, nurses stopped packing the wound with dressings and instead used a sponge.
“It was being packed twice a day which was the most painful experience ever. I have a high pain threshold and out of 10 it was easily a 9, this is while I was on morphine.
“I was never warned that any of this would happen. The whole ordeal was horrific.”
When asked if she felt taken care of by the NHS the answer was a flat-out ‘no’.
“Any time I needed help, I felt like I was a nuisance, even though I couldn’t do anything for myself.
“One time, when accompanied to my bathroom by the nurse, I was left for forty-five minutes.
“I had to call the main hospital switch board to get them to put me through to my ward for someone to come and help me out.
“There was always someone more important than me or they didn’t have time or they’d get around to me eventually. It was like there was always another reason not to deal with me.”
The lack of after-care affected Jenny’s mental health and she was prescribed anti-depressants.
“I was in so much pain, so depressed and just wanted it all to be over.
“The operation was meant to give me five good years Chron’s free, but so far I’m in a worse position than ever before.”
Jenny made several complaints and even contacted the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) but felt she was constantly fobbed off.
“I could probably write a book about all the things that weren’t done properly.”
In total Jenny spent almost three-weeks in hospital post-op and then spent another couple of months undertaking regular check-ups.
Following her operation, a bloated and self-conscious Jenny had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon who told her that the results were normal and she was ‘just fat’.
“It was the insult of the universe.”
In October Jenny and her friend Amy went on holiday to Tenerife for a long weekend. The break, which was supposed to cheer Jenny up, made her even more insecure about her appearance.
“We spent most of our time in the hotel away from people as they would ask when I was expecting. I’d simply reply with a made-up date as I was so embarrassed with how I looked.”
The disfigured results of the surgery have not only crushed Jenny’s confidence but are also incredibly dangerous for her health.
“My tummy is not protected by anything, so if I have a fall or if anyone punches me, my internal organs are at risk of being damaged.”
She is now seeking reconstruction surgery but has been told that she may not be eligible for funding as it is classed as a cosmetic procedure.
“This will have to be a joint operation with two surgeons as my bowel has now stuck to the inside of my scar because it’s been left for so long.”
Going under the knife will cost in excess of £15,000, a bill that Jenny is unable to foot herself.
Her Mum, Susan (64), suggested Crowdfunding as an alternative but currently she has only raised one-percent of her target.
Desperate and exhausted, Jenny is at her wit’s end with no other option but to plead for help on this website where people can donate anonymously to various causes.
“You can imagine my upset, frustration and annoyance.
“I have tried getting compensation but again no-one wants to know because no-one will accept fault.
“My argument with them is that if there’s nothing to put right then why am I now seeing a plastic surgeon to have it corrected? It speaks volumes.”
When contacted, a spokesperson for the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry to hear that Ms Adnett was not happy with the care she received at Hillingdon.
“A full investigation was carried out when Ms Adnett filed a formal complaint with the Trust which found that the appropriate clinical protocols were followed in providing her care.”
You can donate to Jenny’s cause here: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/i-need-funding-for-a-life-changing-op.