Katie Widdowson died from a flesh-eating disease. Picture: Facebook
Katie Widdowson died from a flesh-eating disease. Picture: Facebook

Woman dies after sex game injury

A YOUNG mum died from a rare flesh-eating disease after being injured during a sex game with her boyfriend.

Care assistant Katie Widdowson told medics she had hurt her wrist while being restrained in bed.

But hospital doctors diagnosed a simple sprain and sent her home - missing warning signs that it was something far more serious.

The Sun reports the next day, 24-year-old Katie, from Castle Vale, Birmingham was rushed back to hospital - and had a heart attack while in the ambulance.

The much-loved young mum was found to have the flesh-eating bug Necrotising Fasciitis, and died from the bacterial infection shortly afterwards.

Katie's partner, chef Dean Smith, told the inquest that the couple had been together for five and half years and that she had a young child.

On New Year's Day this year, Katie went to work and later sent him a photo of her wrist, saying she was in a lot of pain and couldn't move it.

She went to Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield but came home having been diagnosed with a sprain and given painkillers.

The next morning, Katie was still in pain and had developed blisters. She was taken to Heartlands Hospital.

Katie Widdowson noticed something was wrong but doctors sent her home. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook
Katie Widdowson noticed something was wrong but doctors sent her home. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook


Concerned Dean said they had previously had sex, during which he had restrained his girlfriend's wrists.

"I do not remember much about it," he told the inquest. "It's not anything we have ever done before."

Assistant coroner Emma Brown said Katie had been to Good Hope's A&E department just before midnight and complained to a nurse of pain in her left wrist.

She had explained that she was unable to feel her fingers, and the pain was spreading up her arm.

Ms Brown said the mum's temperature, heart and pulse rate were all abnormal and she should have been observed every 30 minutes.

But despite seeing two doctors and having an x-ray, she was told she had a sprained wrist, and was discharged.

The coroner said that she should have been kept in hospital and undergone major surgery.

As a result, there were "clear failures" on the part of both doctors.

"They flagrantly ignored the policy that was there for the very situation Katie found herself in," said Ms Brown.

"Her early warning score was six and should have resulted in regular and ongoing observations and further investigations. These were not carried out. If Katie had remained in hospital, it is clear that her death would have been avoidable.

"These mistakes amounted to a gross failure to provide basic medical attention. Katie's death was due to Necrotising Fasciitis contributed to by neglect."

The coroner said there could be other explanations for the initial injury she had suffered but the most probable one was when she was restrained.

Mr Brown added that she had been given no proper explanation by the hospital for what happened.

She said the Trust had now taken steps to try to prevent a similar situation happening again.

After the hearing, Katie's stepfather David Widdowson said the family intended to take legal action against the Trust.

They plan to pursue a claim that the hospital's negligence led to the tragedy.

Katie's family has released a graphic image of her left arm taken just hours before she died.

Her mum Patricia confirmed her daughter and her boyfriend-of-five years Dean Smith had sex on New Year's Day morning where he tied her up.

Katie Widdowson was injured after a sex game with her partner. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook
Katie Widdowson was injured after a sex game with her partner. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook


She said: "They (Katie and Dean) had been at a New Year's Eve party until 5am on New Year's Day.

"They'd got home around 6am and they'd had sex and she was tied up. They were a loving couple and it's nobody's else's business what they did behind closed doors.

"Later that day Katie sent Dean a photo of her wrist saying it was hurting. The next night her arm looked horrific. Dean took a picture of it while the ambulance was on its way.

"There is a black mark on the base of her thumb and we think that is where the injury started.

"I don't know what caused the injury but it doesn't matter because that was not what killed her. The hospital's complete and utter neglect killed her.

"When she went into Good Hope Hospital on the 1st she had a MEWS (Modified Early Warning Score) of six which is a red flag for sepsis but this was ignored.

"The junior doctor had only been in the country for four months. She had come over from India. If they had treated Katie properly she would still be alive."

Patricia continued: "When she woke up the next day, she had two burn marks on her arm.

"She had been out the night before and had had a little drink.

"She was taken to Heartlands hospital and we got there at about 10.05pm and they had got her in the recess unit but she was non-responsive.

"Her arm was completely dead and there was no blood running to it.

"I think we all went into shock, they hadn't said she wasn't going to make it, they were doing everything in their power to save her.

"They said if they could stabilise her they could amputate it but they couldn't stabilise her.

"Colette, Katie's mother-in-law mentioned that she had a tiny thorn in her wrist that the doctors didn't spot.

"Everything was black and blistered - it looked like someone had poured a boiling hot kettle over her arm.

"If anything positive can come from Katie's death, it is that another life can be saved."

She added: "I cannot imagine how scared she must have been that night."

Katie suffered a heart attack on her way to Heartland's Hospital in Birmingham on January 2 but despite desperate attempts to save her she died at 5.20am the next day.

Katie's mum also paid an emotional tribute to her "beautiful" daughter.

"She was both beautiful inside and out," she said. "She loved animals and she loved people. She went to Lourdes with terminally ill people."

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