Charlotte, NC – A Charlotte, North Carolina mother of three, Adrienne Harris, is suing the hospital responsible for an alleged medical mistake that caused her to lose her hands, feet and legs, according to WSOC.
In July 2015, Harris was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy that should have only needed an overnight stay at Atrium Health (formerly known as Carolinas Healthcare) for the relatively routine surgery.
According to her attorney Charles Monnett, the surgery left a hole in Harris’ small intestine that allowed the contents to leak into the woman’s abdomen. This caused the sepsis. The lawsuit places blame on the doctors for not catching the mistake for an estimated two days.
“During her surgery, there was an injury to her bowel that went undetected, undiagnosed, and unrepaired,” Monnett said.
Harris would remain in ICU giving doctors no choice but to amputate her hands and feet once gangrene was detected. Several surgeries afterwards, she required the knee amputations of both legs. The mishap has also permanently damaged Harris’ body internally. She won’t be able to digest food by mouth never again.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority – also known as Carolinas Healthcare or Atrium Health, along with Dr. Lynn C. Pitson, Dr. Kathryn E. Webb and Dr. Tara M. Vick were all named in the lawsuit. WSOC reports that Webb was a resident at the time of the surgery and performed under Pitson’s supervision. The suit suggests that Webb’s inexperience was a factor in the medical error.
“She would have had limited experience just by the fact that she was a resident,” Monnett explained.
Her attorney believes that if a jury hears Harris’ case that will be able to claim non-economic damages above the $500,000 cap that were established in 2011 by the North Carolina General Assembly. The state and House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger are named in the suit by statute.
“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.”