The Australian Women’s Weekly – Justine & Tracy
Justine had her 40th birthday in 2010 with her girlfriends in Bali,” she tells The Weekly. One night, she wet her pants (again) and her girlfriends said, “You know there’s a surgery for that.” Back in Australia, Justine looked into it. She saw two specialists. The first scared her off. The second said, “Don’t worry, sweetie. You’ll be absolutely fine.” And she trusted him.
Tracy saw a surgeon. “I’m sure he had the best intentions,” she insists. “He showed me this tiny little square of stuff – an inch by an inch – and he said: We’re using this now. We just put it in there and it holds it all together’. So you go along with it.”There was no indication of the possible damage it could do or the level of risk. Now Tracy wonders: “Where was my informed consent? I just trusted them to look after me.” Tracy’s incontinence continued and she began to experience discomfort within a few months of the surgery.
9 News – Jazmin
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD – Grace
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….
Who Magazine Australia – Andrea, Justine and Kim
Andrea Walter, Justine Watson and Kim Blieschke should never even have met. They live in different states, are of different ages and have very different interest, these brave women are connected by one tragic commonality. The have all had their lives destroyed by a 10-minute medical procedure Which was promised to be an easy fix. Mesh implants were hailed as the perfect way to treat an arrayof pelvic floor disorders such as incontinence; hernias and prolapsed organs less invasive than most surgeries, quick to insert and with seemingly no side effects, But they have had devastating impacts for hundreds of women across Australia, leading to chronic unremitting pain, disfigurement, inability to have sex, debilitating depression and even suicide. For years, sufferers were fobbed off and led to about what they were experiencing until finally in 2017 the government stepped in and introduced a partial ban, 27 years after the mesh had been introduced to the country. A class action was launched soon afterwards on behalf of 700 Australians. At the forefront of the campaign to bring justice to the blighted lives were Watson, Walter and Blieschke, united in their pain who wanted to make sure the company behind the mesh, Johnson & Johnson, was held accountable, WHO sits down with them to hear how the mesh has left them physically and mentally maimed.
KIDSPOT – Rebecca
“It will be like having a designer vagina,” Rebecca Oates recalls the surgeon saying, before she was anaesthetised and had transvaginal mesh inserted through her vagina, looped around her urethra and pulled tight over her pubic bone. Only 27, Oates had just had her second child and was experiencing prolapse and stress incontinence.
“I was unaware at the time but this product was about to completely destroy who I was as a mother, wife, friend, employee, and woman in general and I wish to god every day since that I would have never gone ahead with the surgery,” Rebecca has since said.
Now 32, Oates is one of approximately 1300 who have registered to take part in action against major pharmaceutical brand, Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers and distributors of transvaginal mesh.
The trial, conducted by Shine Lawyers based in Sydney, concluded in February 2018 and the judgement has been reserved since then. For young women, mothers, daughters and sisters who have been mutilated by surgeons and doctors they trusted implicitly, they can only hope for a sense of validation and justice because nothing will repair the damage done physically.