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Mother fears daughter is 'left with scars forever' amid claims she was cut with scalpel during emergency C-section

PUBLISHED: 16:30 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:40 20 August 2019

Amber Woollard's daughter Valenci was born with a two-inch laceration beneath her nose. Picture: Amber Woollard

Amber Woollard's daughter Valenci was born with a two-inch laceration beneath her nose. Picture: Amber Woollard

Amber Woollard

A mother who claims her daughter's face was cut with a scalpel during an emergency C-section fears she will be ridiculed as she grows up.

Valenci was born with a facial deformity. Picture: Victoria PertusaValenci was born with a facial deformity. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

When Amber Woollard's daughter Valenci was born in April last year, Miss Wollard's waters had broken without contractions starting.

Despite suffering through 72 hours of labour the 23-year-old was only dilated by nine centimetres and medics decided an emergency C-section was needed for little Valenci to be delivered.

It was soon after the successful procedure midwives told Miss Woollard Valenci had been born with facial deformities, which were attributed to the baby's position inside her mother's womb.

But Miss Woollard has since been told by a plastic surgeon and a midwife this could not have been the case, and she now believes 16-month-old Valenci was caught by the surgeon's sharp scalpel during the procedure.

Amber Woolard and Valenci. Picture: Victoria PertusaAmber Woolard and Valenci. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Miss Woollard, a former carer, and Valenci had to stay in hospital for five days after the birth due to an infection. During this time, she said: "A midwife said there's nothing inside you sharp enough to cause that."

Since returning Miss Woollard said a plastic surgeon had told her the same thing.

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In advice about C-sections the NHS says accidental cuts to a baby's skin are common during the procedure, but that this is "usually minor and heals without any problems".

Amber Woollard's daughter Valenci was born with a two-inch laceration beneath her nose. Picture: Amber WoollardAmber Woollard's daughter Valenci was born with a two-inch laceration beneath her nose. Picture: Amber Woollard

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), where Valenci was born, said it was "very unlikely" the injuries were caused by a scalpel.

A spokesman said: "We'd like to repeat our apologies to Miss Woollard for not meeting her expectations and the distress caused following the birth of her daughter. We are sorry that her daughter was born with signs of facial trauma and we have explained to Ms Woollard why we believe the facial marks were very unlikely to have been caused by the scalpel used during the caesarean section."

But Miss Woollard, of Clifton Street, is now raising money for a second opinion as her daughter faces three more operations in coming years to minimise the scarring.

Miss Woollard said: "The whole reason I've reached out is because I would like to get a second opinion."

Amber Woollard's daughter Valenci was born with a two-inch laceration beneath her nose. Picture: Amber WoollardAmber Woollard's daughter Valenci was born with a two-inch laceration beneath her nose. Picture: Amber Woollard

Writing on a GoFundMe page set up to help with costs, she said: "My darling daughter will be left with the scars forever. Under her nose she has a deep, raised scar, leaving her with not only one thing to ruin her confidence but problems ahead in the future."

She added: "With the money raised I am looking to go to a private doctor for a second opinion and have the surgeries done elsewhere after the NHS failed us."

The NNUH spokesman added: "We'd be happy to talk to Ms Woollard further if she has any further questions or concerns. The maternity department at NNUH aims to deliver a high standard of care at all times and we take any complaints seriously to see what lessons can be learnt to improve future patient care."

- To follow Valenci's journey, click here.

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