A mum-of-five was discharged from hospital to walk for two hours along a dark motorway with a catheter dangling down her legs.
Sobbing Rehana Ahad was ignored by passing police cars as she trudged along the hard shoulder and even crossed the carriageway several times to reach her car.
“I thought I’d die. In fact, I felt so ill that wouldn’t care if I had been killed,” she said.
The 36-year-old who is awaiting gynaecological surgery, had been taken ill with severe abdominal pain while she was stuck in a traffic jam on the M6 last Thursday.
“There had been an accident and the motorway was gridlocked for miles. I was in such agony that I had to call an ambulance,” she said.
Paramedics parked her car on a slip road near junction four and rushed her to Heartlands Hospital.
Doctors discovered she was suffering from serious urinary retention and the only solution was to insert a catheter and leave it in place.
At 6pm the Birmingham hospital discharged her – despite her protests about being totally stranded.
“My handbag was in my car, but I had no idea where the car was. I was still so drugged from morphine that I didn’t even know where I was,” she said.
Rehana, from Milton Keynes, tried taxi firms –but none of them would go near the still-gridlocked M6.
“I begged the hospital to let me stay the night but they wouldn’t listen. They told me to call the police.”
Police told Rehana hospital staff had a duty of care for her. But again her pleas to nurses fell upon deaf ears.
“A highway recovery company quoted me more than £150 to recover my car. There was no way I could afford that. I knew if I wanted to get home to my children I had no alternative but to walk,” said Rehana, whose children are aged between two and 15.
A stranger saw her struggling to walk with the dangling catheter and gave her a lift to the mouth of the motorway.
“I got on the M6 and trudged along, totally dazed. At one stage a police car went past with its sirens on and I thought; ‘At last – someone has come to help me’. But it ignored me and drove on.”
Rehana reached her car at midnight and drove home to arrive at 3am.
“I still have nightmares about what happened and the danger I put myself in,” she said. “I just cannot believe that a hospital could be so heartless in this day and age.”
Heartlands Hospital press office has been contacted and a spokesman promised to look into the incident.
She said a member of staff from the patient services department would be calling Rehana shortly.