Hospital mishap leaves needle in Valley woman

This is a story about a big hospital, a tiny needle and an expectant mom, who got far more than she ever expected.

"This was probably as far away from my birth plan as could be," says Lydia Wanke.

The Valley woman went to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix to give birth to her second child.

The story does have a happy ending.

Lydia says the delivery went very well and her son Peter is healthy and happy.

It's what happened AFTER the delivery, that would make most of us cringe.

"The the doctor said I need to tell you we lost a suture needle when we were trying to stitch up your episiotomy and we can't find the needle, " Lydia recalls.

Lydia says she was told a needle broke off inside her and doctors needed to wheel her into the operating room for about 10 minutes.

"I thought, 'how hard can it be to find a needle?'"

Harder than she thought.

Lydia says that 10 minutes turned into an hour and a half of doctors probing, cutting and taking x-rays.

And they still couldn't find the needle.

So Lydia says, they put her out.

"And when I woke up again, it was four hours after I entered the operating room and they still hadn't found the needle," she says.

Lydia says it wasn't until she moved her leg position, that the needle became visible.

"The needle poked out. The doctor was able to take it out. Then it was over."

Well, not quite.

Lydia shows me the bills she received after her hospital experience.

There are the usual delivery charges that she expected.

But then there are charges for an x-ray, anesthesia and operating room services.

Those weren't charges for the delivery.

Lydia says she and her insurance were getting billed for about $25,000 involving the needle removal.

"It wouldn't be my responsibility to pay because they lost a needle," she says.

So, Lydia let me know.

"It's you knock me down, give me a band aid and then charge me 20 bucks for the band aid," she says.

We took the problem to Banner. They acted right away. 

Lydia says Banner apologized to her and said it was not the kind of birthing experience they want to represent. 

Eventually, she says Banner removed all surgery costs and refunded payments that Lydia and her husband had made.

In an email to ABC15, Banner says, "We really do not have further comment as we do not have a signed consent to discuss Ms. Wanke’s particular situation. However, we are happy that her follow up with patient relations resulted in a positive outcome for her. Our patient relations staff is always available to investigate these sorts of situations and try to find a solution. "

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