Good Weekend Magazine – 15th June 2019
The ‘eight-minute’ cure: how transvaginal mesh sentenced thousands of women to a life of pain
Up to 18,000 Australian women have suffered mild to horrific complications from the insertion of transvaginal mesh devices. How did the health system let them down so badly?
By Amanda Hooton and Joanne McCarthy
Grace Irvine has blue eyes, pale skin, and short hair that fluffs up at the back like a baby chick’s. She is 29 years old. Three years ago, she was a healthy mother of three boys living in a small town in Victoria. She worked as a dental assistant, and wanted to study nursing….
Marc is an Aussie hernia mesh Injured advocate. He runs “Hernia Mesh Au” closed Facebook support group, with the focus on hernia related mesh injuries and particularly men. Mesh Injured Australia continues to work collaboratively with mesh advocates around the globe.
Dianne & Heidi
Sean (Wife is mesh injured)
Deni’s Story (Hernia mesh)
Thank you to the Health Issues Centre & Deni for permission to share. Please click on the photo or this link to read the full story.
Through all of this chaos I have found strength through the support and understanding of other mesh sufferers in our amazing Facebook support group ‘Hernia Mesh Australia’
Find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/310037816438647/
I have told my story because I hope it inspires other people to tell theirs. I also want those who have been adversely affected by hernia mesh to complete the Health Issues Centre’s Medical Device and Implant Failure survey. The greater the number of people who come forward, the greater the likelihood the authorities will do something to stop this epidemic.
We are stronger together!
Click here to view the whole story – ABC article October 2018
For Ms Villani it was not that pelvic mesh stopped her being able to have intercourse with her husband, it was the broader impact it had on their relationship.
“We actually split up for quite some time. It’s nothing my husband did or thought,” she said.
“It was very hard when he felt guilty and I felt guilty. It caused strain.”
The mother-of-two left the family home for some time because of the problems mesh caused in her relationship.
She has now returned to her partner because they “just want to be together”, but said their partnership would never be the same.
It is just one way Ms Villani said mesh has “totally altered my life” after her doctor suggested it to treat prolapse and incontinence following the birth of her son.
She recalled her surgeon seemed quite excited about the product at the time and believed he was on the “cutting edge” of new techniques.
“It didn’t quite work the way they expected,” she said.
Eleven years on, she said her situation had improved little.
“I have pain all the time,” she said.
“I’ll have to give up my job eventually. My financial future is also affected. I’ve been extremely depressed and anxious.”
Ms Villani said the worst part was that she was “not the only one”.
“Some women are expecting to die from their complications,” she said.
“I’ve friends who probably won’t make it.”
And while Ms Villani welcomed the Government’s reforms to regulation and reporting, she said it did very little to help women who were continuing to struggle with debilitating side-effects from the product.
“I have friends who are talking about suicide. So we all need help,” she said.
“I would like to believe the Federal Government is serious about reform but what I see is a lot of this comes down to money.
“Money isn’t the issue, we are the issue.”