New mom, 18, says hospital left epidural in her back for days: 'Agonizing'

An 18-year-old says she was left with an epidural stuck in her back for days, and hospitals were unable to help (Credit: Facebook)
An 18-year-old says she was left with an epidural stuck in her back for days, and hospitals were unable to help (Credit: Facebook)

An 18-year old new mom is in “agonizing pain” after she says a medical mishap left her with an epidural stuck in her back for almost four days.

Selena Gray gave birth to a baby girl named Serenity on June 26 at Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola, in Florida. The day before, when she went into labor, she received an epidural — a spinal anesthesia, delivered through a catheter, sometimes used for pain relief during childbirth. But Gray says her procedure went awry, leaving the epidural’s plastic entry tube lodged in her back.

“Basically, my epidural looped itself into my spine,” Gray told Fox19. “It’s in a knot in my spine, and they’ve been trying to tug at it and tug at it. I haven’t been able to get up or move or do anything.”

According to her Facebook post, Sacred Heart Hospital transferred the new mom to Baptist Health Care, also in Pensacola, two days later. But, she wrote about the medical staff there, “They refuse to touch me.”

In a Facebook Live video posted to her profile, Gray said her doctor at Sacred Heart told her, “‘In all my years, I haven’t seen anything like this,’ so basically, they’re as shocked as I am.” She added that the doctors would “pull and pull at my spine,” and that her doctor went to get a neurologist to see what he could do. When he couldn’t get the epidural out either, she said, the doctor “cut it.”

“They used me as a practice tool,” she said in the video, adding that the doctor was “practicing.”

Baptist Health Care and Ascension (Sacred Heart Hospital) did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment, but declined to comment for Fox 19.

Gray eventually took matters into her own hands and transferred herself to University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, about five hours away, in Gainesville, where doctors removed the epidural with an incision. In a Facebook post, she said that she was on the mend.

“I thank everyone for all their prayers and I [thank] God that Shands Hospital was able to remove the epidural out my back last night,” she wrote. “They had to make an incision leaving me with stitches but I'm on the road to recovery.”

But in a distressing setback just a day later, on June 30, Gray was in “agonizing pain,” according to her mother, Patricia Alvarado, who posted an update on Facebook. According to the post, the new mom has been unable to walk without a walker, and cannot stand up and hold her baby at the same time.

Gray, wrote her mother, is “not doing too good and she is very scared and upset she can’t barely walk.”

Neither Gray nor her mother could be reached for comment by Yahoo Lifestyle. And a spokesperson for UF Health (Shands Hospital) declined to provide a statement, noting, “Given patient privacy laws, we are unable to comment on specific cases.”

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