Irrum Jetha was overcome with joy when her baby girl, Amelie, was born, but that joy quickly turned to horror when she realised the epidural she had been given – recommended especially by her doctors to ease the strain of birth on her problematic heart – had left her with no feeling in her legs.
After initially telling her not to worry, doctors confirmed Jetha’s worst fears only 24 hours after the birth of her daughter: the “routine” epidural had left her unable to walk.
For the first six days of Amelie’s life, her mother was too sick to see her.
Epidural injections, used to ease the pain of birth, are used by one in four women giving birth, and are considered routine procedure.
How, then, did Jetha's go so wrong?
Doctors at London's Charing Cross hospital, where Jetha was treated, say she suffered a rare epidural haematoma - a blood clot that compressed her spinal cord, leaving her paralysed.
"It has been a huge struggle,’ says Jetha of her injury.
"I’m in a lot of pain and I don’t feel confident enough to leave the house in my chair alone. At times I feel so very useless."
Unable to return to her active job as a scientist in a laboratory, Jetha remains at home, but her paralysis means it's too dangerous for her to be alone with her daughter.
"Even now I’ve never spent a single moment alone with Amelie," Jetha told The Daily Mail.
"Because of my disability I can’t look after her alone, there are too many things that could go wrong.
‘I can’t bath her alone or change her myself. The world that I knew has collapsed and the pain of not being able to care for my little girl is devastating."
Watch: The things you aren't told about giving birth.
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