A woman who was left close to death after contracting sepsis from a cosmetic surgery abroad opened up about her “nightmare” ordeal in court.
Laura Donald travelled to Wroclaw in Poland to for breast augmentation surgery and thigh liposuction.
However, shortly after returning to her home in Oxford, the 35-year-old fell seriously il with sepsis and had to undergo reconstructive surgery.
Following a trial, a High Court judge rules that surgeon Dr Adam Kalecinski, and his company Noa Clinic Uslugi Medyczne, were liable for Laura’s injuries.
She had travelled to Poland for surgery in January 2015 after saving for years for treatment, finding the surgery online.
Laura, a mum of three, said: “The pain and discomfort I felt came on pretty soon after the surgery and continued to get worse. By the following day, I was in agony and felt feverish. I told the nurse who came to change my dressings how poorly I was feelings but she just said I was fine.
“My condition got worse, and I don’t really know how I got back on the flight home. Fortunately, when I landed my family took me straight to hospital where I was diagnosed with sepsis. I can’t remember much about initially being in hospital as I was that poorly, but my family have said I was critically ill.
“However, overcoming sepsis wasn’t the end of it. The last few years have been a nightmare. I’ve undergone a lot of further operations, including skin grafting and revision surgery. The whole experience has been terribly upsetting. If I’d have known then what I do now I wouldn’t have booked the trip. I didn’t book it on a whim and spent months looking into various options.
”Everything seemed fine and I felt reassured by the fact that the doctors had worked in the UK and everything was communicated in English. Nothing will change what happened to me or make up for nearly dying, but I’m thankful that I’ve got justice for what happened. I just hope that by speaking out I can help stop what happened to me happening to others.”
Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, specialist international cosmetic surgery lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Laura, said after the hearing: “What happened to Laura cannot be downplayed. She was close to death after developing her infection as a result of the substandard care she received abroad. The last few years and trying to come to terms with both the physical and mental ordeal she’s been through has been incredibly difficult.
”While Laura has overcome sepsis she’s required a number of revision surgeries to try and rectify the complications she’s been left with. While nothing can make up for what she’s been through we’re pleased to have secured the answers Laura deserved. This court finding will hopefully provide some closure and allow Laura to move on from what happened to her the best she can.
“Sadly we’re seeing increasing numbers of cases involving people travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery. While on the face of it such trips looks appealing and websites look professional, there can often be a complex system behind such bookings and who may be responsible if something does go wrong.
“There are always risks to consider in any type of surgical treatment, but there are particular risks involved in having a surgical procedure in a different country. We’d encourage people to thoroughly research various options before committing to any procedure. It’s vital people understand what redress they have if something goes wrong and that they know the details of insurers in place.”
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