Australian woman commits suicide after surgical mesh nightmare

  • 21/12/2017
Australian woman commits suicide after surgical mesh nightmare
Photo credit: Newshub

The family of a woman who killed herself due to pain caused by surgical mesh has gone public with their heartbreaking story of her last days.

Alison Blake committed suicide in January 2015 two weeks after being told nothing more that could be done to help her after mesh surgery left her in constant pain, the Newcastle Herald reports.

She had been implanted with a prolapse pelvic mesh device in October 2013. Immediately afterward, she suffered complications and was forced to have multiple surgeries, all of which were unsuccessful.

Ms Blake was forced to self-catheterise every two hours and rely on painkillers to get through the day.

As part of the self-catheterising process she had to lie down, meaning she was restricted to traveling within two hours of her home or to somewhere she could lie down.

"She couldn't attend our father's funeral because there were no facilities at the crematorium to lay down and do what she had to do," her sister Heather Paton told the Newcastle Herald.

Her daughter Leesa Tolhurst remembers the final days of Ms Blake's life as terrifying after she discovered nothing could be done about the pain.

"I just tried to comfort her. I remember her as she drove away from my house, there was just a look in her eyes," she told the Newcastle Herald.

Her family members agreed to speak to media in order to bring attention to women currently living through the pain of pelvic mesh surgery. Australia has just decided to partially ban the mesh.

"I love her, and I'll miss her for the rest of my life, but I understand. I couldn't live like that either. No one should have to live like that," Ms Tolhurst said.

In New Zealand, Medsafe will be rolling out a ban on surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in 2018.

If you wish to talk to someone about mental illness or domestic violence, you can call Lifeline on 0800 543 354, the Depression Helpline on 0800 111 757 or the National Telehealth Service on 1737.