Quoting KNZ.:" That's....terrifying. It happened cos she ate the night before? Sorry if that's a dumb question but ... [snip!] ... cos of that, i'm going to be freaking the hell out in a few months cos i most likely won't make it to the planned date. "
It's usually situational. They will try to prepare you/hold off on an operation as long as possible if they know you've eaten- but sometimes they can't do that. Not everyone will aspirate. I'm assuming they probably had to sedate her. Between medications for sedation, being intubated, and the stress of the surgery, she probably had a lot going on.
At work, we used to take care of a 30-year old very non-compliant man. He was a drug addict, he didn't care that he had diabetes, and he developed foot ulcers because of not caring- they had to amputate some of his toes. He was told he couldn't eat anything before surgery. He chose to eat, he chose to lie and say he didn't (evidence in his room was found), and he died during surgery.
I don't say it to scare people, but in a way I do. Everyone should be aware. Nobody is told not to eat because they want people to suffer, they want to reduce the risk of something horrible happening. Unfortunately a lot of people don't realize it.