Woman writes terrifying letter about the time she was awake during surgery

It's right out of a horror movie.

A Canadian woman has detailed her terrifying experience of waking up before the start of the surgery, only to realize the doctors were about to the make the first incision. Because of the anesthesia, she was unable to communicate to the doctors that she was awake.

She had to endure the pain as the doctors operated on her, completely unaware of the situation. These traumatic moments were detailed in a letter to BBC.

44-year-old Donna Penner, from Canada, was having abnormal menstrual pain. Her doctors decided to do a laparoscopy to figure out what was wrong.

Everything was going smoothly. Pre-op went fine and the anaesthesiologist administered her an intravenous drip. She put on a mask and drifted off to sleep -- only to wake up while on the operating table.

"When I woke up I could still hear the sounds in the operating room. I could hear the staff banging and clanging and the machines going - the monitors and that kind of thing. I thought, "Oh good, it's over, it's done, " Penner wrote.

But then she heard the surgeon ask for the scalpel. She couldn't speak or sit up because she had been given a "paralytic" to make it easier for the surgeon to cut into her abdomen. But the anaesthesia hadn't worked.

"I felt him moving my organs around as he explored. I heard him say things like, "Look at her appendix, it's really nice and pink, colon looks good, ovary looks good, " she detailed.

Since the surgery, Penner has spent years in therapy and pursued legal action against the hospital. You can read Penner's full letter here.

Related: Stroke symptoms you should know

Stroke risk factors and stroke symptoms
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Stroke risk factors and stroke symptoms

Strokes are more common among the elderly, with the chance of stroke nearly doubling each decade after the age of 55. 

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Stroke risk is greater in those whose immediate family members have had a stroke, and a stroke can be a symptom of various hereditary disorders.

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The risk of death from stroke is higher in African-Americans as they also have higher risks of complications like high blood pressure and diabetes. 

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Women are also more likely to die of a stroke, possibly due to factors such as birth control usage and pregnancy complications.

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Strokes are more likely in people who have already suffered a stroke or a heart attack. 

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Southeastern states are also called the "stroke belt" states, as strokes are more common in this area. 

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Alcohol abuse can lead to many problems, including strokes. 

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Speech difficulties are a major symptom of someone who has had or is having a stroke.

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Possibly the most noticeable sign of stroke is the drooping of one side of the face, or face numbness.

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Weakness on one side of the body is another symptom of a stroke. 

(Photo via Getty)


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