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Suffolk Woman Traumatised By Mesh Implant Wins Legal Case

Our solicitors helped a Suffolk woman win an undisclosed settlement after a defective vaginal mesh implant put her through two years of severe pain.

Jo Coghill, a 54 year-old legal assistant from Woodbridge, was diagnosed with stress incontinence following the birth of her third child. She received physiotherapy treatment but needed more help and was referred to a gynaecologist who decided she should receive a mesh implant.

Jo had the vaginal mesh operation at Ipswich Hospital in July 2013. Following surgery, Jo suffered extreme pain, discomfort and bleeding that left her unable to sit properly. She also struggled to walk and had difficulty emptying her bowels.

As doctors at Ipswich hospital repeatedly told her the surgery simply needed time to heal, she suffered for a year before deciding to seek further medical advice. After losing trust in the medical staff at Ipswich hospital, she sought a second opinion on a private basis.

Jo said: “The whole experience left me completely traumatised and I felt that if I sought help I would not be taken seriously. It was difficult for me to go to a GP or hospital as they made me really anxious after what I had been through.

“Eventually, enough was enough and I told my GP I was still in significant pain. I was referred back to hospital and offered pain support, but I was told it was too difficult to remove the mesh. I decided to get a second opinion on a private basis. That’s when I was told the implant had almost eroded my vaginal wall and required removal.”

Jo went to a private clinic where doctors found that she was in pain because the mesh had eroded her vaginal wall. They also noted that she was having difficulty emptying her bladder as a consequence of the implant - something that should have been recognised following her surgery in 2013.

She had the vaginal mesh implant removed by Consultant Urogynaecologist Miss Sohier Elneilin at the University College London Hospital. Jo has made a good recovery, is no longer in pain and she has since had successful surgery to help with her stress incontinence.

Jo asked specialist medical negligence solicitors at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the standard of care she received from Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust. She wanted to know if more could have been done to prevent the suffering she endured.

We asked experts to examine Jo’s case and they found evidence that Ipswich Hospital staff had failed in their duty of care towards her. Our examiners also found that doctors at Ipswich took too long to diagnose the causes of her pain and bowel problems. This delay prolonged her suffering and caused her condition to worsen.

Jo was represented by Sarah Wealleans, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office, who said:

“Vaginal mesh implants and issues related to them are in the spotlight, with NHS records suggesting that one in 15 patients fitted with common mesh products need surgery due to complications.

“This is a very serious concern and the ordeal that Jo has been through demonstrates the devastating impact that problems with implants can have on women. Thankfully, it seems to be recognised by the medical profession that there are concerns with these implants.

“We are pleased Jo has received the recognition that she deserves following what has been a very stressful period for her and her family. I’m determined to raise awareness of the complications of mesh implants for women contemplating this surgery.”

Jo has bravely decided to share her story in the hope that it raises awareness of the risks involved with mesh implants and to let women who are suffering know that there may be help available to them.

She said: “While I’m so pleased to have the issue corrected, all of these problems have caused me a huge amount of distress. I still get very emotional talking about everything I’ve been through. It’s worrying to see the scale of issues which are emerging with meshes. Something clearly has to change and the safety of women has to come first.”

If you’re experiencing pain or difficulties after receiving a mesh implant, you can visit our Surgical & Transvaginal Mesh Claims page for information. If you want to make a claim you can speak to our medical negligence solicitors on 0370 1500 100 or get in touch online and we’ll call you back.

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