Woman sues over ‘bowel blowout’
A WOMAN who claims a colonic treatment left her in intensive care with a hole in her bowel has sued a Brisbane "detox" centre for $1.7 million.
Pamela Kilah, 65, from Springwood, south of Brisbane, has sued Belinda Hogan, the owner of Wilston's Angel of Detox, in Brisbane's north, and her treating therapist, Anna Obodin, for negligence.
Ms Kilah told the Supreme Court Ms Hogan and Ms Obodin owed her a duty of care and failed to warn her of the risks of bowel perforation under pressure and the risk of infection when she had her treatment on May 6, 2016.
Ms Kilah claims the water pressure perforated her bowel and later complications meant she ended up in intensive care.
She claims she suffered the loss of 21 centimetres of her colon and rectum, abdominal scarring, problems walking, aggravation of a pre-existing potential to develop heart failure, and a relapse of depression, panic disorder and bulimia.
She has had a colostomy and has suffered complications due to infection and fluid overload, the court heard.
She was in extreme pain within 15 minutes of starting the procedure, so she stopped and an ambulance was called, the court heard.
In their defence, filed in court last week, Ms Hogan and Ms Obodin argued Ms Kilah reported discomfort after 35 minutes, not 15, and they called an ambulance.
They denied negligence, arguing the medical evidence had not identified a "direct cause" of Ms Kilah's bowel perforation.
Ms Kilah "elected to undertake the procedure of her own volition and on the recommendation of her daughter", the pair told the court.
They submitted that Ms Kilah was warned of the risks in a form, which she read, signed and had explained.
"The procedure was not unsafe," Ms Hogan and Ms Obodin told the court.
They say $1.7 million in damages is "excessive and not supported by medical evidence", and that Ms Kilah will not require future medical care.
Court documents filed by the pair contain extracts from the Angel of Detox website, which claims celebrities such as Madonna, Usher, Matt Damon, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Cindy Crawford, Paris Hilton and Anthony Robbins all swear by the alternative treatment.
Further extracts claim colonic hydrotherapy cleanses patients of toxins that can lead to digestion problems, fatigue and headache.
Ms Kilah has asked the court for damages including $116,000 for pain and suffering, $131,099 for care given to her by family over the past three years, $513,242 for future care, and $356,481 for past medical expenses.
No court date has been set.