Woman disabled in a wheelchair from an operation gone wrong is told her pain will fix with counselling
PUBLISHED: 17:16 01 April 2016 | UPDATED: 18:03 01 April 2016
A mum of two, crippled in a wheelchair after suffering complications from an operation, has been told by the NHS that counselling will fix her pain.
In a letter from her local NHS Trust she was told that cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) should help her get back to work and a normal life.
It then belittled her life-altering pain by saying she had a history of complaining to her GP because she had in the past suffered from depression.
The woman had a plastic mesh bladder sling to treat incontinence suffered after childbirth and was told it was a low risk simple operation - but it left her among thousands of women around the world suffering painful complications.
She said: “I have been left unable to walk far or sit for too long, in constant agonising pain, my life ruined, on medication to cope,” she said.
“They think if I talk for a bit with a counsellor I will be OK.
“To have your life changed beyond recognition because of surgery risks I was never properly warned about is one thing but to then be told it is all in your head is disgraceful.”
She is suing her local NHS Trust for damages because she can no longer walk far and has had to give up work.
The woman is one of many who have joined Facebook campaign Sling The Mesh and met others who have been told the mesh operation has nothing to do with her pain.
One woman said: “My surgeon said I had a disc problem making it painful to walk - yet I’ve never suffered disc problems in my life.”
Another aid: “My surgeon said I was the first person he had seen suffering mesh problems but after joining Sling The Mesh I found a woman who was in the same hospital on the same day as me having a mesh device put in, who has also suffered.
“We were both told we were the only women he had come across and it had nothing to do with mesh.”
Olive McIlroy, of campaign group Scottish Mesh Survivors, said: “There is no off switch for individuals experiencing severe complications from mesh procedures, patients are the fall-out from defectively designed, non-tested, vociferously marketed, poorly regulated and monitored polypropylene mesh medical implants.
“The life individuals experiencing mesh complications had is gone, they have a different life now, one of disability and severely restricted quality of daily living.
“We don’t ask for much just please believe we are in constant pain with a multitude of other severe symptoms and those with the power to do so introduce an immediate precautionary principle and stop all mesh medical implants now.”
Fellow mesh campaigner Elaine Holmes said: “Three out of four mesh procedures currently in use throughout the UK will no longer be used routinely in Scottish hospitals, only in exceptional circumstances due to serious safety concerns.
“One of the recommendations of the Scottish review is to encourage ‘empathy’ with patients, particularly those who developed adverse events from these procedures.
“Surgeons and NHS Trusts should read this report and listen, really listen to their patients.”