By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A Colorado woman who claims a surgical sponge was left in her abdomen for 12 years is suing a Cheyenne doctor and the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.
Rachel Hill, in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, is suing Dr. Mary-Ellen Foley for negligence, alleging she left a sponge inside Hill after a cesarean section.
Hill is seeking damages of more than $75,000 in an amount to be determined by a jury.
According to the lawsuit filed Friday, Hill was admitted to the Cheyenne hospital on Dec. 18, 2008, and Foley delivered her baby by cesarean section the next day.
The lawsuit said Foley had performed surgery on Hill prior to the 2008 birth.
The lawsuit said Foley and the other staff assisting with the surgery in 2008 failed to properly keep count of surgical sponges and left one inside Hill’s abdomen after the surgery.
For the next 12 years, Hill experienced symptoms including abdominal discomfort and stomach pain.
In January 2021, a CT scan identified a foreign object in Hill’s abdomen and when she underwent surgery in March 2021, a surgical sponge was removed.
Hill is suing Foley, the hospital and Cheyenne OB/GYN, who Foley worked for at the time, alleging their negligence resulted in “years of abdominal pain, ill health, constipation and rectal bleeding.”
The error has resulted in past and future economic losses, medical expenses, pain, suffering, discomfort and a loss of enjoyment of life, the lawsuit said.