A woman who claims a Penticton surgeon botched her procedure is now suing the doctor and hospital.

Jessica Jane Stelkia on Dec. 30 filed a lawsuit in BC Supreme Court in Kelowna naming as defendants Dr. Julie Ryckman, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, and Interior Health, which operates Penticton Regional Hospital.

Dr. Ryckman inadvertently severed Stelkia’s right ureter – which carries urine from the right kidney to the bladder – while removing a cyst from Stelkia’s right ovary during a procedure Jan. 3, 2020, at PRH, according to the lawsuit.

The ureter injury apparently went unnoticed and Stelkia, a teacher, showed up a week later at South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver complaining of abdominal pain, chills, sweats and vomiting.

Stelkia went under the knife again Jan. 11, 2020, and had a tube inserted in her abdomen to drain fluid, but it wasn’t until two days later that a CT scan revealed her right ureter had been severed, causing urine to flow into Stelkia’s pelvis rather than her bladder.

Stelkia underwent another procedure Jan. 14, 2020, at Kelowna General Hospital to have a tube attached to her right ureter that allowed urine to drain into an external bag.

Stelkia was operated on again July 6, 2020, to reattach her right ureter, and in September 2021 required one final procedure to repair a hernia allegedly caused by the earlier surgeries.

The lawsuit alleges Dr. Ryckman was negligent on several counts, including failing to “exercise appropriate caution” and not warning Stelkia about the risk of permanent injury before the original surgery to remove the ovarian cyst.

The lawsuit further alleges Interior Health was negligent because it failed to provide safe care to Stelkia and it employed Dr. Ryckman.

Stelkia alleges the defendants’ actions caused sepsis, chronic pain, psychological damage and other injuries.

She’s seeking to recover the costs of her past, present and future care.

Dr. Ryckman didn’t respond to a request for

comment placed with her office Friday. Interior Health declined comment because the matter is now before the courts.