Evening Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY CARLA JENK­INS it

AFORMER fash­ion busi­ness owner lost ev­ery­thing due to a botched tummy tuck

– and now the threat of sep­sis in­fec­tion hov­ers over her un­born child.

Ker­rie Wilkes, 27, trav­elled to Poland in 2017 for ab­domino­plasty, or a “tummy tuck”, and al­most died af­ter con­tract­ing sep­sis through her belly but­ton.

Now, two years on, Ker­rie is ex­pect­ing her first child – but new com­pli­ca­tions have arisen.

“I didn’t think I could even have chil­dren af­ter the in­fec­tion, be­cause it was so bad,” Ker­rie told The Evening Times. “Be­cause the in­fec­tion be­gan in my stom­ach through my belly but­ton, my belly but­ton opened up and I had to have a new one con­structed.

“With this be­ing at­tached to the um­bil­i­cal chord, my doc­tors have told me that my baby is po­ten­tially al­ways at risk.

“A few weeks ago I had an in­fec­tion, but we man­aged to stop it be­fore it reached my baby. Doc­tors have told me my belly but­ton could po­ten­tially open up be­fore birth, so I need to pre­pare for the worst.

“Ev­ery morn­ing I wake up and feel my stom­ach to make sure it’s still in­tact.”

Ker­rie de­cided to get a tummy tuck at a surgery in Poland af­ter she saw her friend post­ing about her suc­cess­ful surgery at the same prac­tice on In­sta­gram.

“I had lost a lot of weight, I was look­ing good, was sin­gle and had my own flat and busi­ness.

“I was striv­ing for per­fec­tion and just wanted to be this per­fect In­sta girl, go­ing un­der the knife.

“My tummy tuck cost me about £4200. I thought it would be the best thing ever and it turned out to be the worst thing that ever hap­pened to me. My whole life changed.”

Ker­rie says that her mem­ory of her trip to Poland “gives her night­mares”.

I“The surgery was hor­ri­ble. The build­ing I was get­ting my surgery in was in a busi­ness park. I didn’t think about it be­cause I wanted done so badly.”

Ker­rie wasn’t fully aware of the con­se­quence of the surgery un­til she woke up in the re­cov­ery room.

“I woke up and thought, ‘what have I done?’ I was shak­ing, I couldn’t breathe, and was of­fered no med­i­cal as­sis­tance at all.

“I was ask­ing the nurses, ‘where are my an­tibi­otics? Where is my IV drip?’ They kept telling me ev­ery­thing was nor­mal, but I couldn’t stop be­ing sick and my stom­ach was in so much pain. It was hor­rific, a nightmare.”

Af­ter she landed in the UK, Ker­rie went straight to the Royal In­fir­mary where she was told her sep­sis was so bad,if she had waited an­other hour, she would have died.

“It has ru­ined my life. I was suc­cess­ful in busi­ness and achieved a lot but I took so much time away from work be­ing ill that no one could help me.”

She had to close her fash­ion busi­ness she opened when she was only 20, J’adore La Mode in Park­head Cross.

Ker­rie wants to raise aware­ness of her story to dis­suade oth­ers from go­ing abroad for plas­tic or cos­metic surgery.

“I went abroad and now I rely on doc­tors here to help me. I get so an­gry and frus­trated with my­self.

“Peo­ple have to stop go­ing abroad for plas­tic surgery and it would mean the world to me if it was out more. I hate the thought of some­one get­ting surgery.

“If you do want the surgery I rec­om­mend only Ross Hall, the Nuffield, or an NHS doc­tor. You need to go to some­one that you trust.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate my life now and live ev­ery minute of it. I just want to have a healthy birth and if my baby sur­vives this I’ll be so happy again.”

Chris Hill, a con­sul­tant plas­tic sur­geon and a mem­ber of the British As­so­ci­a­tion of Plas­tic Re­con­struc­tive and Aes­thetic Sur­geons (BAPRAS), said: “Ev­ery cos­metic surgery or pro­ce­dure has po­ten­tial com­pli­ca­tions whether it is at home or abroad, and pa­tients need to be aware that risks are in­volved in hav­ing surgery of any type.

“I would not rec­om­mend go­ing abroad for plas­tic surgery.

“There are sig­nif­i­cant dan­gers in go­ing abroad for cos­metic surgery.

“If they are go­ing to do it, BAPRAS has a check­list of rec­om­men­da­tions to make sure of be­fore you go.

“Who knows what type of clean­li­ness or qual­i­fi­ca­tions the sur­geon who worked on Ker­rie had?

“If you are go­ing to go abroad, please at least make sure that you are go­ing abroad safely.”

Doc­tors have told me my belly but­ton could po­ten­tially open up be­fore birth ... so I need to pre­pare for the worst

Pic­ture: Jamie Simp­son

Mum-to-be Ker­rie Wilkes at her Gart­cosh home with her dog Pene­lope and, below, her botched tummy tuck Above-right: Ker­rie’s baby scan

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