Mum Lindsay Clark’s joy at having a second child was destroyed in an instant – after doctors sterilised her during a C-Section.
Part of her fallopian tubes were removed as she slept because Lindsay, 34, had twice suffered life-threatening pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
But she says she did not give permission and is devastated that she can no longer have children.
Lindsay – who received £25,000 compensation – says: “I woke and was told they’d performed the procedure. I didn’t want it and had been told it definitely wouldn’t be done that day.
“I was completely distraught, just devastated. Doctors took away my chance to have more children.
“How can they do that to someone? How is that fair? I feel like they ruined my life.
"I should have been bonding with my new baby, but all I could think was, ‘I’ll never get to have another child.’ I was inconsolable.”
Lindsay’s shattering experience happened at St James’ Hospital, Leeds, in April, 2014. She is speaking out now to alert other mums.
On the day of her planned C-section, a midwife asked Lindsay what contraception she planed to use after the birth – and mentioned sterilisation for the first time.
Lindsay said: “I certainly didn’t agree to it. I didn’t sign anything and at no point did I give consent to go ahead with the op. I was categorically told it would not be done that day.
“It is a huge decision and one I would have needed to discuss with my partner. It’s not something you can decide minutes before having a baby.
“When I woke up, I was told they’d done it. They took my choice away. It was horrendous. I kept thinking, ‘What the hell have they done to me’?”
Her daughter Lacie arrived safe and sound – and is now five. Lindsay and partner Martin already had son Harvey, now 10. He was born after a difficult pregnancy during which Lindsay developed pre-eclampsia.
The condition causes high blood pressure and swelling, with potentially further serious complications. Lindsay adds: “I had to deliver Harvey by C-section seven weeks early. I was in hospital two weeks and Harvey was in for five, because he was premature.”
When Lindsay suffered pre-eclampsia again, while carrying Lacie, doctors warned a third pregnancy could put her life at risk. But Lindsay goes on: “I knew it would be risky. But I always wanted more children.
"It breaks my heart every time Harvey says, ‘Mummy are we going to have another brother or sister? I say, ‘No, we can’t’. It is a very hard operation to reverse and at my age, the chances of it working are slim to none.”
Leeds NHS Trust acknowledged its “shortcomings” and said: “We have a more comprehensive approach to recording consent for patients, which fully adheres to legislation.”
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