Reports estimate that 100,000 families have filed lawsuits against Ethicon for the pelvic mesh they manufacture. Lenda Suggs claims that the pelvic mesh implant she has causes her constant discomfort and stops her from leaving the house at all.
To add insult to injury, the medical bills from the procedure forced the family to lose their three-bedroom house and move into a small mobile home.
A Mesh Implant Gone Wrong
She goes on to describe how she’s become a burden to her husband and family. Sugg has been dealing with this physical pain and emotional grief since 2008. She had a hysterectomy but struggled with controlling her bladder thereafter.
As a result, surgeons implanted a mesh device in her pelvis. Sugg says the intolerable pain began immediately after the procedure.
Suggs describes the pain as if it were gasoline burning her insides. This was the most excruciating pain she’d ever experienced in her life. She was unable to stand, she was unable to sit, and she spent most of her time trying to block the pain out with her mind.
Sugg had surgeons remove most of the device 2012, but they said some mesh had embedded in her tissue and could not be removed.
Life After Removing the Mesh Implant
Physicians say she’s still in pain due to nerve damage she sustained. Even during her interview with local reporters, Sugg could be seen visibly wincing before she’d stand up to relieve some of the pain in her legs.
Through her tears, she describes the pain as feeling like pins, needles or electricity running between her legs when sitting down. To this day, she’s still struggling with controlling her bladder and bowels.
Ethicon on Mesh Implants
Ethicon, the manufacturer, is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. Sugg is only one of 100,000 families who’ve filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer over the mesh implants.
In a prepared statement, Ethicon says more conservative approaches to treating pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence are typically unsuccessful and that mesh implants have improved the quality of life for millions.
Ethicon maintains that pelvic mesh is an important treatment option, but empathizes with those who’ve endured complications.
According to Ethicon, product safety is their highest priority and most women have improved their quality of life because of the mesh implants.
Suing for Defective Mesh Implants
While a number of women have been awarded millions, Sugg was only offered a $40,000 settlement by Ethicon on May 10. She refused the offer, believing that she’d be lucky to even get a third of that amount taken home.
Sugg says that amount wouldn’t be enough to cover the medical treatment she needs. In her heart, she feels there’s still something to be done that can help her get back on her feet.
She understands that she stands to get nothing back, but she also doesn’t believe anyone in her position should settle. She doesn’t think she should give up like she’s been told, she thinks fighting is the best option for anyone suffering similar circumstances.
Before the surgery, Sugg remembered living a good life. Since then, she hasn’t felt alive, but she refuses to resign to living the rest of her life this way.