Lisa Woodrow from Thetford, Norfolk

“I joked that this operation would make me feel like a new woman. It has. It left me in a wheelchair for 18 months where I couldn’t walk.

Lisa Woodrow with her son.
Lisa Woodrow with her son.

“Now I’ve had the mesh removed my legs shake badly and I need a stick to support me,” said 53 year old Lisa.

“I’ve gone from loving dancing, doing karate, swimming, long walks to a shell of the woman I once was.

“I had to give up my successful business supplying hotels with accessories, sell my house and now live in rented accommodation on benefits. I’m registered disabled.

“I have gone from being an outward, social, high flying professional, in a relationship to a broken woman.

“I’ve had to learn to walk again with a heel-toe step. The pain is so bad I’m on the highest dose of daily pain relieving drugs, I’m a legal drug addict.

“That’s the new woman I am and the MHRA still say the benefits outweigh the risks.”

Lisa had TVT mesh inserted in November 2012 to fix a problem of uterus prolapse and mild incontinence after ventouse childbirth to her two sons, now 30 and 32. Immediately after the operation, she said it felt like she had been stitched up too tightly on the left side.

“I found it difficult to empty my bowel, had recurrent water infections and for several months found sitting without cushions difficult, as it was like it was pulling underneath,” she said.

Lost relationship

“I also found intercourse with my then partner difficult. We have since split because of all the complications I have had with mesh.

“When I went for my three month checkup I was seen by a nurse, not my consultant and told the operation was a success, even though I complained of so many problems.

“I was told the pain was scar tissue and that it could take a long time to heal and for sex use a cream from the doctor.

“I started to get spasms in my legs, and saw a neurologist as they wanted to rule out MS. I was given the all clear. But still got spasms, then started to get a pain radiating through by hip/groin area.

By the time it got to May 2015 things got worse.

Lost use of legs

Lisa Woodrow in her wheelchair.
Lisa Woodrow in her wheelchair.

“I woke after a restless night with pain but when I went to get out of bed, I couldn’t stand.

“After six weeks in hospital doctors told me it was a slipped disk (an MRI proved this incorrect) or that my lower spine may have narrowed (again proved incorrect), I was put on vast amounts of drugs.

“When I tried to walk my legs shook. I begged my doctors to refer me to a gynaecologist that specialised in mesh, but this proved difficult.

“In February 2016 I saw removal specialist Ms Elneil in London.

“After an internal it was explained my mesh had eroded through my vagina.

“When it was removed it was found the mesh had been incorrectly inserted.

“Since having it removed, my legs feel like they have been freed and I can now sit comfortably, but the nerve pain can keep me in bed for days.

Need walking stick for support

“I feel a lot better but am only able to walk short distances with a stick. Anything too far and I need to take my wheelchair out

“I am now waiting for further surgery to remove further mesh from behind my pubic bone, and then have a colposuspension – the traditional surgical fix – as I am now fully incontinent.

“Training of GPs and hospital doctors and nurses in mesh complication awareness is a MUST.

“My dad saw Kath Sansom of Sling The Mesh talking on the television and shouted look! That’s your story!

Lisa Woodrow - the party girl before a mesh operation ruined her life
Lisa Woodrow – the party girl before a mesh operation ruined her life.

“If it hadn’t been for that and me then finding the support of the women on the Facebook group, I don’t believe I would ever have got the operation that I so needed.

“Because of how I was treated by my GP, in particular, I almost started to believe the pain may indeed, be in my head.

“I was a fun loving party girl before a TVT mesh implant robbed me of the life I once knew.”

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