As if the pain of labor isn't bad enough, a mom who has been experiencing constant back pain for over a decade just found out that the cause is a 3-centimeter long, broken anesthesia needle lodged in her spine. Amy Bright, whose youngest child was born nearly 15 years ago, began feeling the chronic pain in her back and left leg immediately after giving birth at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida.
"It feels like fire, like a poker next to my tailbone," Bright told First Coast News. "And then on occasion, it shoots down the left side of my leg on my calf, like my calf side, and then down and into my foot."
At the end of 2017, Bright could no longer stand the pain, so she went for a CT scan, which revealed the broken needle stuck in her spine. Bright's attorney, Sean Cronin, who helped her file a claim against the federal government for medical malpractice, fraud, and negligent concealment by the hospital staff, says he's "speechless" that this wasn't disclosed to her at the time.
"When you pull out the needle, you look at the needle and make sure that tip is there. That's missing," he said. "It's documented in her medical records that they had an unsuccessful spinal needle attempt at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in September of 2003. So no one else put a needle in her back."
Unfortunately, the needle has reportedly caused permanent nerve damage, and the pain is expected to get worse over time. And because surgery to remove the broken piece of needle is risky, Bright will likely have to live with it lodged in her spine for the rest of her life.
"If they were any kind of human whatsoever, they would've said 'Hey, I'm sorry I made a huge mistake, let's fix it,'" Bright said. "But instead they didn't tell me."