Mother lost both legs after hospital missed infection

Magdalena Malec at her home in Dunstable

Magdalena Malec at her home in Dunstable Credit James Linsell Clark

But just weeks later she and her partner, Robert, were devastated to find out that she had suffered a miscarriage. She reportedly had to return to Luton and Dunstable later in the same month, where she found out that she had an ectopic pregnancy, wherein a fertilized egg attached to a cavity outside the uterus, and had to undergo emergency surgery.

Malec underwent surgery to have a fallopian tube and the fetus removed, then while in recovery developed gangrene, which caused her body tissue to die. She later learned it was caused by a loss of blood supply due to medical staff not recognising the classic warning signs for sepsis and failing to follow their own sepsis protocol.

She says her relationship with her husband ended as a result of what she went through. 'I have been left on my own, starting with relearning how to walk, comb my hair, eat, and brush my teeth.

'Nothing will restore what I had, ' said Malec, from Luton.

"The only thing I dream about is decent living conditions with my disability and prostheses which will allow me to live as normally as possible".

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"I am susceptible to infections because my immune system is weakened by the medicines I take to support my kidneys".

"I am learning how to live with pain", she added.

Sepsis occurs when an already-established infection in the body isn't treated. Going out and coping with the way people look at me is very hard, and so is self-acceptance.

Malec, who had an elevated temperature before the operation, maintained a fever and developed a rash on her legs - symptoms her doctors attributed to an allergic reaction to antibiotics that she had been given.

In the United States, more than 1.5 million people suffer from sepsis each year, 250,000 of which end up dying, according to CDC data.

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A Luton and Dunstable University Hospital spokesman said Monday that the hospital extends its "sincere apologies" to Malec and acknowledges that "the care provided to her in 2014 fell below the standards that we strive for".

It was supposed to be a joyous and memorable time: Magdalena Malec was pregnant with her third child, and her other two were no doubt counting down the days until Christmas.

The hospital has admitted failing to spot that this was because of sepsis.

"There were a number of missed opportunities or "red flags" which were not acted upon until it was too late".

Her lawyer David Thomas, of Simpson Millar solicitors, said: 'Despite recent awareness campaigns, mistakes such as this are still happening. "There were missed opportunities to recognize the progressive clinical deterioration of Malec and act accordingly, including the timely administration of antibiotics".

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"The Trust wishes to convey its honest apologies to Ms Malec and recognizes that the care provided to her in 2014 fell below the standards that we strive for..." We undertook an investigation to examine what improvements could be put in prevent similar cases'.

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