Colon Cleansing leaves woman with horrific injuries
With a gaping wound to her stomach, her intestines hanging outside her badly bruised body, 55-year-old Michele Phitu (not her real name) looks like the survivor of some vicious attack.
However, whilst she is indeed lucky to be alive, her injuries were sustained, not from some knife-wielding thug, but rather a colon cleansing procedure gone horribly wrong.
Speaking to The Voice on condition of anonymity for fear of losing her job, Phitu explained that when she booked into Nature Care in September for a routine colon cleansing, she had been hoping for a flat stomach.
What she got was a stay in ICU, two operations and a whole lot of pain.
Tenderly removing her bandage to reveal her nasty-looking injury, Phitu describes her decision to get cleansed as one she will ‘forever regret’.
Casting her mind back to a little over a month ago and the beginning of her nightmare, she reveals she was given a concoction which she was told to drink every 90 minutes, the day before the cleansing process.
“I was given a mixture which included apple cider vinegar, a whitish powder mixed with water. The next day I went back to them for the cleansing around 11am. I went inside the room and I inserted the tube and whilst the fluid was getting into my system I started experiencing severe pains,” says Phitu, adding she was soon in agony and had to stop the process.
According to Phitu, Nature Care staff told her she was probably experiencing pains because she had a lot of unwanted waste in her intestine.
“The truth of the matter is when I went there I was not sick, there was nothing wrong with me. It was Independence Holidays I had off days and I wanted to travel the country so I went for the cleansing. I wanted to have a flat tummy for my trip, little did I know…” continued Phitu, her voice trailing off in despair.
Having cut the procedure short , she says she went home to get some rest.
Two days later she was admitted at the Gaborone Private Hospital (GPH) where she had to be operated on immediately.
“The doctors initially said my condition had worsened so much that I had to be transferred to hospital in South Africa. They contacted the doctors there who directed that I be operated on immediately and that the doctors should not waste anymore time as my life was in danger!” narrates Phitu, who is careful not to move too much when she speaks as her stomach is still incredibly tender.
A three-day stay in ICU followed; when she awoke it was to find her small intestines coiled on the outside of her body – a sight that almost made her faint.
The unfortunate woman is stuck like that until she can get another operation. She has no idea when that will be.
“The doctors said that because whatever happened during the colone cleansing ruptured the bigger intestine they are giving it time – which is indefinite – for it to heal. For now I have to live like this,” Phitu say, gesturing forlornly at her scarred stomach, which regularly emits a low, ominous rumbling sound.
“The waste stinks like hell, I have to change this sack three to four times a day. The doctors told me that my liver has already been damaged because of the time I spent without operating. If I had known I would have gone to hospital immediately but they told me that the pains were because of the excess waste I had. Little did I know it was because their cleansing process ruptured my intestine!” exclaims an emotional Phitu, who says she eventually intends to sue but at the moment is focusing on regaining her health.
Meanwhile, Nature Care owner Sally Pillar told The Voice her office was dealing with the matter and wished that the media would not get involved.
Pillar claimed she had up to this point not dealt with the matter as she has been away on business.