Single mum left homeless, bedridden and unable to work from 'mesh' device demands action
A single Victorian mother has been left bedridden and unable to work and she believes it is because of a controversial medical device she believes she didn’t even need.
Jazmin Wilson, 38, from Cobram in Victoria even became homeless a few years ago, unable to work and in crippling pain. Her issues all started when a pelvic mesh was used in her hysterectomy.
She is unable to do even simple tasks like dress herself, take her dog for a walk or even use the bathroom, and said she has been forced to give up various jobs.
Ms Wilson has to use a stick or walking frame to leave the house, and sometimes has to resort to ‘adult nappies’.
As the USA's Food and Drug Administration today announced a ban on some types of the device, she called for more help for those already affected in Australia, including disability payments.
While a Senate Inquiry last year into the issue has seen a new register set up for the future use of devices - some of which have already been removed from use - not enough has been done for those already suffering, she said.
“It feels like there’s a cheesegrater inside that’s been set on fire every single day,” Ms Wilson told nine.com.au.
“I do feel angry because I didn’t need it in the first place.
“I think that they should ban all the mesh.”
Ms Wilson’s ordeal started when she went for a hysterectomy due to complications from having her four children 11 years ago.
She said the surgeon told her she needed the mesh to prevent incontinence, something she doesn’t believe is true.
Soon after the surgery, her health went downhill.
She developed pain in her abdomen, which got worse, until one morning seven years ago, she woke up unable to walk.
“I ended up having to go in a wheelchair and wear adult nappies,” she told nine.com.au.
Simple outings, with children Teagan, 20, Jake, 17, Madison, 15, and Hayley, 12, became impossible.
But doctors told her she had joint swelling and gave her pain killers.
When she suggested her illness could be linked to the mesh, she was dismissed, she said.
Things didn’t improve, and she was eventually forced to give up work as a cleaner and bartender, and claim Newstart payments.
Other medics diagnosed conditions such as fibromyalgia – and one even told her she was in pain because she “was too fat.”
Finally, a few years ago, an MRI scan showed what she was told were stress fractures in her pelvis, and tears inside her body.
Again, she said medics discounted her beliefs the injuries were caused by the device, and sent her away with painkillers.
Ms Wilson went back to work part time at a food takeaway outlet - but was simply too sick to keep it up.
She lost her home because she couldn’t pay the rent, and had to stay with family and friends until she could find somewhere more affordable.
Ms Wilson, who is part of an ongoing class action, admitted things have become so bad, she has considered taking her own life.
While she has found a surgeon in the US who is an expert at removing mesh, the surgery costs $20,000 and is a complex procedure which is likely to leave her incontinent.
An estimated 150,000 Australian women – and many men - have had the devices implanted since 1998, and over the past few years, complaints of severe complications have snowballed.
Health Minister Greg Hunt apologised to women who have been affected by the ‘horrific outcomes’ last year.
He said he wants a voluntary register be set up to log complaints.
However, charity Mesh Injured Australia is demanding more action, including compensation and disability payments.
Spokeswoman Andrea Walter said they believe there is a ‘tsunami’ of patients still to come forward, with many not yet connecting symptoms.
“We applaud the government committing $2.3 m to a prospective pelvic floor surgical register for those going forward - the new mesh injured,” she told nine.com.au.
“It does nothing for those already injured and permanently disabled by mesh.
“We demand a full independent retrospective mesh implant register that all implants are researched, and logged, so that people can be issued with recall if necessary.”
Today, the US halted sales of a type of surgical mesh used to repair pelvic conditions in women, following years of patients' reports of injuries from the implants.
INFO: Mesh Injured Australia: 1800 MESHED (1800 637 433)
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