Man Wakes Up In The Middle Of Operation On Burst Appendix
Waking up in the middle of people fiddling with your insides must be one of the most horrifying things on earth. It's the stuff that alien autopsy nightmares are made of.
That's exactly what happened to one bloke who woke up in the middle of a op feeling 'locked in his own body', able to feel everything but unable to tell doctors he was awake.
Fenn Settle, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was undergoing a routine operation to treat a ruptured appendix at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in March 2016 when he regained consciousness after the general anaesthetic docs used on him wore off.
Settle says he felt a sharp stabbing pain in his abdomen and felt like he 'had a bottle cap in this throat' due to the tube that had been pushed down his mouth. However, he couldn't tell doctors he was awake due to feeling paralysed from the anaesthetic.
"I tried to spit it out but couldn't and felt like I was choking to death. Everything goes through your mind like, 'are you going to see your family again?'." Fenn said.
"I thought I was going to die and tried to hold my breath so I would pass out quicker."
Realising he was still being operated on from the sounds he could hear, Fenn said he tried to blink and wiggle his fingers and toes in a failed attempt to gain the attention of medics.
Eventually, desperate for help, Fenn said he made a 'conscious decision' to wee on the operating table before doctors realised their mistake and he was finally put back under.
"I was willing any part of me to do something. I made the conscious decision to urinate, it was the only thing I could do," Fenn said.
"It was that sort of feeling when you have three beers. I thought this will get their attention. I definitely could have held it in."
WATCH THESE SURGEONS CELEBRATE DURING AN OPERATION:
The account manager next woke up after the operation and said despite remembering clearly what happened to him, was told by doctors that it was 'all a dream'.
Fenn said that doctors even told Finn not to research what happened in a bid to stop them getting into trouble.
"The next morning I was seen by a doctor who said, 'I'm aware you had some awareness of the operation' but said whatever you do don't google it because I would scare myself," he said.
"Obviously, I immediately looked up what anaesthesia awareness was and found it may be down to medical negligence."
Fenn went back to work a week after the op but continued to suffer from post-traumatic stress and flashbacks.
He had particular problem getting to sleep due to a recurring nightmare that he was choking which he was still having more than a year after the surgery.
"There was one night when my other half arrived home and I was just sobbing and didn't know who I was," he added.
"The hospital was denying it and I knew that it had happened, I thought I was going mental."
Following an investigation, the NHS trust in charge of the hospital later admitted that due to a 'language barrier', a nurse had incorrectly noted Fenn's weight as three stone lighter than he actually was.
That meant that Fenn had been given a lower dose of anaesthetic than he should have been.
"According to the doctor himself, that wouldn't have made a huge difference but it would have made some difference. It was enough to wake me up," he said.
"They also said the tube became disconnected so I wasn't getting the anaesthetic. I only ended up with a portion that I was meant to have."
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has since apologised to Fenn and given him thousands of pounds in compensation in an out-of-court settlement.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS