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July 22, 2009 - Airman Loses Legs After Routine Surgery

The wife of a young airman in California says her husband lost his legs when something went wrong during routine removal of his gall bladder.

Colton Read, 20, an airman first class at Beale Air Force Base, remained hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center this week, The Sacramento Bee reported. He was transferred there from the hospital at Travis Air Force Base.

Jessica Read told the newspaper a device for laparoscopic surgery to remove her husband's gall bladder pierced the aorta, the largest blood vessel, which carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. Surgeons were able to repair the damage but something cut off blood supply to her husband's legs.

At UC Davis, Read has been through several surgeries. Both his legs are now amputated above the knee.

Jessica Read said her husband was not flown to UC Davis for nine hours after the first surgery went wrong.

"They were wasting time doing a sonogram, doing an angiogram, wasting so much time," she said.

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