Woman in "living hell" calls for ban on controversial operation
7:56am Thursday 15th May 2014 in News
A WOMAN who has been in a "living hell" for 12 years following a failed medical procedure is calling on the Welsh Government to ban its use.
With campaigns beginning to take off across the world about the dangers of surgical mesh implants, Barry woman Jemima Williams wants to unite with fellow Welsh sufferers to spread the message about the controversial procedure which has left so many women's lives in ruins.
At the very least, she says, she would like to see the procedure - involving the implanting of surgical mesh to help problems such as pelvic organ prolapse - reclassified as "high risk" due to the danger of injury and organ damage.
Twelve-years-ago Jemima, 54, of Griffin Close, Barry had mesh implanted and almost immediately her body rejected it. Since then, the mesh has migrated, eroded and become infected leaving her with horrific internal injuries, requiring several major operations and no end in sight.
Most recently she has been told that she needs another operation which will almost certainly lead to a colostomy.
Jemima's experience is far from isolated, with horror stories emerging from women all over the world - some even involving people allegedly driven to suicide - and successful multi-million dollar lawsuits in the US.
GP's wife and grandmother-of-two Jemima explained that a combination of there being no legal requirement for surgeons to record failure statistics and people's reluctance to talk about their failed implants is leaving thousands of women suffering in silence.
"I was in so much pain I was almost suicidal, I thought 'I can't live like this'" she said. "I was in agony every minute of the day. You can't sit, you can't eat, you can't walk, you can't drive. Your bodily functions go out of the window and you can't function as person or as a parent. It's ruined my life.
"I would say to any woman offered this procedure, do not ever, ever touch mesh."
Years into her suffering Jemima discovered support groups on the internet and a burgeoning anti-mesh campaign in the US, spearheaded by legendary activist Erin Brockovich.
Jemima is hoping to rally many more Welsh sufferers to unite and put pressure on the Welsh Government to sit up and take notice.
The group she has founded, Welsh Mesh Survivors, have outlined their aims among which are the reclassification of the implant - if not a complete ban outside of life-saving operations -, the compulsory recording and reporting of adverse effects by surgeons and doctors, and stricter measures and more controlled research and testing into mesh products.
Anyone wishing to speak with Jemima can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07970 859952