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Chamber and committees

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee


Petitioner submission of 4 August 2021

PE1865/NNN - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

The destructive impact of mesh has touched so many parts of my life for such a long time, despite not having any of it in my own body. I was 11 when my mum first had a small incisional hernia repaired using a mesh “patch” and over the following decade she had several recurrences, as well as new hernias, all repaired using surgical mesh. With each surgery my mum become more unwell, with symptoms beginning shortly after emerging from the anaesthesia. She suffered immediately from tugging and ripping around the mesh implant sites, and later began experiencing extreme nausea and vomiting, severe bowel problems, repeated infections, and chronic inflammation. I watched as my vivacious, carefree and vibrant mum became seriously unwell and a shadow of her former self. Soon I was spending a lot of my time in hospitals; I became a carer for my mum while I was still a child and had to become her advocate when she became too ill and worn down to fight for herself. This was something I found incredibly difficult because my early childhood was filled with my mum’s activism and her desire to make the world a better place for everyone, and suddenly she was so unwell and exhausted by her illness that she could barely speak up for herself.

Over the next 2 decades I experienced first-hand the denial by medical personnel that any of my mum’s symptoms could be attributed to mesh, in fact one surgeon wrote in my mum’s notes that she ‘and her family need to give up their obsession with mesh’. We endured years of gaslighting, suspicion and accusations of ‘drug-seeking behaviour’ when in reality all we wanted was for my mum to have a shot at normal life again; she was younger than I am now when she first had mesh implanted and had over a 1/3 of her life dominated by pain and sickness. She lost her job as an adult educator due to how unwell she became, which broke her – it was never just a job it was her calling and passion. She was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of the medical trauma she endured and became suicidal at the realisation that the surgeons did not believe her that mesh was causing such widespread and devastating symptoms. It was not until my mum discovered the first mesh petition in 2014, and realised this was the same material, that she finally felt she was not alone.

Unfortunately, little was known at the time of that first petition about the impact of polypropylene mesh implants used elsewhere in the body, and when we raised our concerns with my mum’s surgeons we were dismissed and told that it was not the same thing and the issues caused by TVT/O mesh was due to the surgical techniques and the location within the body. However, we both realised that these other women were telling stories which were identical to my mum’s own experiences; the pain, the ripping, the inflammation and infections, the subsequent diagnoses of fibromyalgia and auto-immune diseases – this all echoed my mum’s own experience. Even when my mum had mesh protruding through the skin on her abdomen, doctors simply cut off the plastic above the skin and told her it could not be the cause of her ill health because mesh is inert. I spent so much time fighting for my mum, begging doctors to listen and yet it was all for nothing.

In 2017 my mum was diagnosed with cancer. The systemic impact of mesh on her body, including the well-documented inflammatory and immune responses, meant that my mum was advised she was not strong enough to endure chemotherapy or surgery. My mum died just 11 months after her diagnosis, at the age of 55. My mum who devoted her life to challenging injustice and fighting for equality, my role-model and inspiration in everything I do, has been gone for 3 years now and the pain of knowing how needless it was, that she may still be here if she hadn’t been worn down so physically by the impact of mesh, is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Mesh caused my mum to lose everything, her relationships, her job, her joy and her life.

Mesh robbed me of my mum too soon, and I implore you to consider the submitted evidence with compassion and heart; put yourselves in the shoes of those whose lives have been ruined by the impact of mesh and commit to a suspension followed by a full, transparent and robust investigation of these implants to ensure no one else has to suffer so needlessly.


Related correspondences

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Ray Taylor submission of 13 June 2021

PE1865/A - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

James Snell submission of 17 June 2021

PE1865/B - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Iana Buckley submission of 17 June 2021

PE1865/C - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/I - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/J - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/K - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/N - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/P - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Maureen Kane submission of 26 June 2021

PE1865/S - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Graham Bute submission of 29 June 2021

PE1865/U - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Amy Hughes submission of 29 June 2021

PE1865/V - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 30 June 2021

PE1865/Y - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Marie Steele submission of 2 July 2021

PE1865/AA - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anne Monie submission of 2 July 2021

PE1865/CC - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Grace Kilna submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/DD - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Marie Dolan submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/EE - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Dawn Kennedy submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/FF - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Julie Barr submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/GG - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Cindy Gray submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/HH - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/II - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Carole Coutts submission of 6 July 2021

PE1865/JJ - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Adele Newton submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/KK - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Cathie Maison submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/LL - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Debbie Millar submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/MM - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

John Mcfadden submission of 7 July 2021

PE1865/NN - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 19 July 2021

PE1865/OO - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

June Mackay submission of 19 July 2021

PE1865/PP - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Carole Coutts submission of 19 July 2021

PE1865/QQ - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Jacqui Shaw submission of 26 July 2021

PE1865/VV - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 26 July 2021

PE1865/XX - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Marian Kenny submission of 26 July 2021

PE1865/ZZ - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

June Connolly submission of 26 July 2021

PE1865/AAA - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

David Hardy submission of 26 July 2021

PE1865/BBB - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 26 July 2021

PE1865/DDD - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 26 July 2021

PE1865/EEE - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Melvin Clarke submission of 27 July 2021

PE1865/GGG - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Jean Sutherland submission of 28 July 2021

PE1865/HHH - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Petitioner submission of 28 July 2021

PE1865_III - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Petitioner submission of 29 July 2021

PE1865/JJJ - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Gillian Watt submission of 29 July 2021

PE1865/KKK - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

David Ellis submission of 29 July 2021

PE1865/LLL - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

David Ellis submission of 29 July 2021

PE1865/MMM - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices