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Budke Son on the Stand in Pelvic Mesh Death Trial Against J&J

Budke family

Budke family

All of the family of Joan Budke was in the courtroom today. The youngest and only son, David, from Houston, arrived Monday and would testify today.  

Mr. Budke was surrounded by his son and two adult daughters and an elderly couple arrived mid-morning. They held hands. She resembled Joan Budke.

At 3:30, the plaintiffs played the videotaped deposition of local urologist, Dr. Eugene Dixon of Osage Beach. He had been called in to treat Ms. Budke and her blocked ureters, that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder. not an area that gynecologist Dr. Becky Simpson usually treated.

Joan Budke, 76, went to the emergency room in January 2009. She didn’t feel well and an exam discovered the infection that was backing urine up to her kidneys, putting pressure on them. It was determined stents would help relieve the pressure but Dr. Dixon could not find the ureters. There was also noted a fluid collection in the pelvis they thought might be air containing a foreign body. Some bacteria produces an air space.

Ms. Budke had the Prolift System mesh implanted to treat mild incontinence in April 2008. Eight months later the mesh, placed between the bladder and the vagina, seemed to be infected. There was an erosion into the vagina, a point of entry for bacteria. Ms. Budke felt nauseous.

A culture later revealed the infection- bacteroides, a bacteria in the bowel, was identified. Dr. Dixon said, “It’s a bacteria in the bowel it doesn’t cause trouble unless it gets where it doesn’t belong.” It was found on the mesh itself. A hole in the vagina was the point of entry for the infection. Later when she didn’t improve with antibiotics, Ms. Budke was moved to Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. Dr. Dixon did not see Joan again.

David Budke 

The Budke family then left the courtroom as David Budke took the stand.

He was stoic and strong. His mother was his friend, supporter and confidant.

Mr. Budke, 51, lives in Houston, Texas and is the father of three children. He works in the field of healthcare with a specialty in gerontology.

Much of his time is taken up with volunteer work for nonprofit organizations, a need to give his mother stressed in him. Budke volunteers with the Younglife organization and a Christian outreach organization for businessmen in the Houston area. He was most proud of recently taking his eldest daughter to help build a medical clinic for a needy group in Egypt.  His mother would have approved, he said.

Who Was Ms. Budke?

David continued. He put his head down.

Adam Slater led him gently through the questioning. The room was quiet and the jury was attentive.

“My mom was the ultimate peacemaker, and giver and encourager and just was always going to people in need, that’s where I got my motivation to do a lot of not-for-profit work. “She was very quiet, very soft spoken, she was very warm and  spirited,” he said.

“I can recall she’s only gotten mad at me twice, they weren’t good times.  First time was I put a hot iron on a Kleenex box and the kitchen counter caught fire. Second time, I got a full bar of soap in my mouth.”  The jury chuckled. Ms. Budke was a homemaker who stayed home to raise her children.  She volunteered at the regional hospital and at school. She delivered meals on wheels.

“She was a huge part of my spiritual development.  The best thing about my mom when I was having a bad day or when I screwed up she was always there to listen and she was always there to understand and there to extend unconditional love.”    She would leave David notes on a sticky pad, some of which he keeps in his wallet today.

Her  work ethic was incredible, he continued, as were both parents. “There were no free lunches.” They were married 54 years. His dad, now age 91 misses her cooking, he said.

He started to realize there was a serious problem with his mom in January 2009 when she could not attend David’s father-in-law’s funeral.  Ms. Budke did not complain about her conditions at all, she didn’t want anyone else to worry.  They never knew how much pain she was in.

“We knew there were issues with the mesh,” he said. By January, David said, he saw how scared his mother was. Making about 15 trips from Houston to the Lake he observed doctors trying to determine what was wrong with his mother. At one point he remembered looking at his father and realizing she was not going to make it.  The family always thought their dad would go first. He had had a series of strokes while mom worked out five times a week and was very healthy.

How did her appearance change? asked Slater.  “The hardest part was yesterday. I won’t look at some pictures because I can’t look at them. The x-rays to look at her body mass in January then in August. She went from something to nothing in six months, ” he said describing her 30- pound weight loss.  The the family decided a ventilator would be needed to help ease her breathing as doctors said they had done all they could. Eventually the hospital consulted with the family and it was decided to remove the ventilator.

“We had the heartache, the privilege and honor to spend her last breaths together.”

David Budke said he misses his mom, sharing things about his children’s accomplishments. His father stay home now. He lost his lifelong companion. “He continues to try and understand this process.”

The family returned to the room after David stepped off the podium.

At the end of the day, two members of the defense team approach David Budke and appeared to be offering their condolences.  #

 

 

27 Comments

  1. kristine says:

    I cried when reading this because I fear that this will be me and my children will be on the stand. How terrible I feel for her family. I can only imagine the fear this lady felt knowing she was going to die from a product that was suppose to help her.

  2. Jean Kraemer says:

    I am so sorry to here about the fine women, it is very hard to see someone you love pass do to doctors not listening. My daughter was 32 and a single mom with 4 children and suffered from 2011 to 2013 because of mesh it really stinks, talked to 3 lawyers and they couldn’t help but told me to keep looking for someone to help. Sarah passed away Aug 30 of 2013 and my nightmares don’t stop, I try to think of all the good things, but I was their when she passed and that stays in your mind. Sarah’s children are doing ok but they miss their mommy very much, we talk to them and FaceTime a lot. It is funny how all reports said infected mesh which caused all her problems and still no help, sorry to go on and on. To the Budke family I am so sorry for your loss. God Bless

    • Jane Akre says:

      So sorry for your loss Jean. Did the death certificate say mesh led to her death? That’s important to know.

    • Jan Urban says:

      Dear Jean, I am so sorry you lost your little girl (daughter). Stay strong and fight with all your might. My thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

    • Aaron Leigh says:

      Dear Jean;

      Please contact me at themeshwarrior@gmail.com. I think I’ve found someone who can help you. God bless you. I’m so sorry, again, very sorry. You must miss your daughter very much. I will help in any way I can.

      Love,

      Aaron

    • Linda says:

      Jean

      I am so sorry for your loss. It is a horrible thing for a woman in her 30’s to endure. I am always hit hardest when I think about young women victimized by this atrocity. I was 47 when I had my implant and my children were grown. I have comfort that they were physically able to care for themselves. We all suffer emotionally and they really don’t comprehend the physical damage I have. I am glad you are in the lives of your daughters children, to share stories of her with them. Peace to your family.

  3. Aaron Leigh says:

    Dear Jean;

    I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I think the only thing worse than loosing your mother too early is loosing your child too early. I am so very sorry for your pain, the nightmares, the fear for her children- just all of it. If you think being in a supportive community would help heal some parts of your broken heart, there are many of us – injured and family members alike at http://www.tmwfoundation.org. You have been harmed along with your daughter. I know there will be a time when attorneys will take cases outside of the MDL. Hold on to hope. You have a community to be a part of, if you desire. We are all feeling similar emotions, sadness, regret, heartache and fear. God bless you.

  4. Aaron Leigh says:

    Also – please if you ARE NOT MESH INJURED but follow this page as a supporter, please donate just $10. #TMWF has raised $95, and we only have $85 more dollars to go to send Jane #TMWF’s Mesh Awareness bracelet for the remaining 4 members of Mrs. Budke’s family. Please – just 8-9 people at $10 each, and I can ship Jane the package for two-day delivery so she can give our community’s support in a tangible way, even from so far away. Here’s link: https://themeshwarriorfoundation.nationbuilder.com/donate

    • Connie says:

      Dear Aaron Leigh , I have been reading a lot of your comments. I have a personal question to ask if you may know the answer Sweety . For operations later & having my last one in Dec . Of 2012 I have severe nerve damage in my bottom area & down my legs. It’s also very awoken down there in lower abdominal area . I’m burning & hurting so bad I have to set in a recliner with my legs spread wide open . I took a set bath last night it got a tiny bit better. The area was only a little for a short time. I have suffered for years but it’s getting near unbearable . Do you have any suggestion to give me to help ease it up . I have been crying its hurts & burns so badly . Thank you Sweety my phone number is 256-510-0244. , thornburg04@aol.com is my email . Thank you so much , I’m desperate !! Connie

      • Aaron Leigh says:

        Hi sweet Connie!

        I am so, so sorry for your injury. I am desperate to help you! I am not a doctor, so I don’t know how to address your pain, but I can put you in touch with a group of injured women who know what you’re going through. Some of the best “medicine” has been receiving validation from others who were harmed just as you have been. Also, when a group of injured women get together to discuss a symptom, they usually come up with the best advice for dealing with specific symptoms. Sharing knowledge is key to our community. Would you like me to connect you with someone in your area so you can start sharing and learning some “Mesh Angel Remedies?” You probably also want to check in with your doctor… anything that’s getting worse instead of better should be observed by your doctor. Again, I’m so sorry for your pain. I wish I could do more to help.

    • Linda says:

      Done..sent $50 yesterday.Felt bad I could not b there as planned.After going thru the horrific pain myself I totally feel for the family.Praying from Waterloo, ia. GOD BESS u all!!

  5. Connie says:

    Thanks Jane !! We could never make up to you for all the time and effort you have into keeping everyone informed. I hope this trial will soon be over . It saddens me that this trial even took place . It seems that the attorneys should have settled this out of court for her family’s sake. !!!

  6. Aaron Leigh says:

    “It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

    – Hubert H. Humphrey

    • David says:

      …And when governments fail in morality, via governmental inaction and the “whittling” of its domestic laws – to knowingly facilitate the intent of: aiding and abetting medical device manufacturer predators and their physician perpetrators, to deceptively, systematically target the vulnerabilities of unsuspecting patients (via the manufacturer/physician societal collectives’ self-promotion of own self-serving standards of care…in an attempt to insulate this physician medical malpractice from liability) – these “crimes against humanity”* are inherently unlawful under the rule of international law.**

      * Article 7 “Crimes against humanity” of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states:

      1. For the purpose of this Statue, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

      (f) Torture;

      (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

      2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:

      (e) “Torture” means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEAQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Flegal.un.org%2Ficc%2Fstatute%2Fenglish%2Frome_statute%2528e%2529.pdf&ei=NKW2VJKaJ4n8yQT0ioFw&usg=AFQjCNHfyhVBQfNM1HkItGfG6X2WJkBSPw&bvm=bv.83640239,d.a

      ——-

      ** Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states:

      “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.”

      http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/UN-covenant/

      ——-

      And as stated on the ACLU’s (American Civil Liberties Union) website:

      “Why does the U.S. [government] have to comply with the ICCPR?

      The U.S. ratified the ICCPR in 1992. Upon ratification, the ICCPR became the “supreme law of the land” under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives acceded treaties the status of federal law. The U.S. must comply with and implement the provisions of the treaty just as it would any other domestic law, subject to Reservations, Understandings and Declarations (RUDs) entered when it ratified the treaty. Though the government retains the obligation to comply with the ICCPR, one of the RUDs attached by the U.S. Senate is a “not self-executing” Declaration, intended to limit the ability of litigants to sue in court for direct enforcement of the treaty.”

      https://www.aclu.org/human-rights/faq-covenant-civil-political-rights-iccpr

      ——-

      Upon ratification of the ICCPR, the U.S. Government became legally obligated to uphold its pledge to recognize the International Bill of Human Rights. The Preamble (and Article 7) states:

      Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

      Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

      Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

      Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

      Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

      Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

      Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

      Now, therefore the General Assembly proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under…Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

      http://www.un-documents.net/a3r217.htm

      ——-

      I say that the U.S. Government is in violation of its international obligations!

      • David says:

        As it would relate specifically to the case of Budke v. Ethicon, I would like to also add “(a) murder” to my above post, under Article 7.1 “Crimes against humanity”.

        As we, in the U.S, are all entitled to freedom of speech, it is my opinion (derived from reading Jane’s excellent coverage of the trial), that although I do not believe Ethicon had the intent of first degree murder, their negligence in their design and the intended use of Prolift certainly appears to be the triggering (causal) event which lead to Ms. Budke’s death. Death, therefore, could have been the fate of any women implanted with Prolift.

        • David says:

          CLARIFICATION: The above mentioned preamble is from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR, the ICCPR (along with its two Optional Protocols) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) combine to form the International Bill of Human Rights. The ICCPR and CESCR are legally binding while the UDHR is not. The U.S. has not ratified the CESCR nor does it recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

          • Aaron Leigh says:

            Thank you SO MUCH David for educating our community and putting specifics to what most of us call “all kinds of wrong.” Thank your for giving us strength by educating us! God bless you!

  7. Patients deserve accurate information about patient outcome harms. Is this fatality from Prolift pelvic surgical mesh going to be reflected in the “informed consent” for the next victim/patient of pelvic surgical mesh? The medical device industry is far too entitled in this country. Beware! The medical device industry is due for a massive clean-up OR their credibility will be trashed by their aggressive marketing and the H-army of ‘adverse events’ left in their wake as they ‘jump the shark’. No family that has been exploited like the Budke’s should have to fight for compensation and validation of this product defect.

  8. Suzanne McClain says:

    This is such a heart wrenching story! Thank you Jane, for keeping us apprised of the proceedings! Many prayers going up for the Budke Family. Such a senseless loss!

  9. danyelle robinson says:

    I have written a letter to my children as a “just in case” telling them the names of all doctors I have been treated by as well as pertinent medical records. I told them that in my experience, legal proceedings can slow the healing grief process so they will have to decide together what to do if I die before they remove the mesh. I have learned that this is a very real possibility due to bowel adhesions, blockage, and chronic, unrelenting inflammation (and an inability to take oral anti-inflammatories). But I am optimistic, despite not being given a reason to be so, that we will have mesh removal in 2015. The bowel issues are getting severe and adhesion is suspected. Praying for removal soon.

  10. stopmeshimplants says:

    These updates are more heart wrenching everyday. What is it going to take for people to stand up and realize the devastation this mesh crap creates and take this s… off the market? How many more people will die from this mesh? Honestly. Someone explain how this can happen in our country.

  11. PLC says:

    Thank you Jane for always keeping us up to date. I don’t know what we would do without you.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Budke family.

    Is there another J&J vs. Perry trial going on in Dallas Texas this week as well or was that one of the ones

    also postponed to a later date.

  12. David says:

    Dear Aaron Leigh,

    Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement.

    The laws that govern nations are there for when governments fail their citizens. The prevention of the medical device industry’s continuing, predatory targeting of more future unsuspecting patients, I believe, will follow the path (via organized, formal patient complaint) through those overarching International Laws. It would appear to be the only recourse left.

  13. David Budke says:

    To all of you, thank you all for your kind words and the powerful blessing of prayer. They have all been such an encouragement to all of us. My family is united and stong in our faith. My mom was always serving and going to people in need. She passed that gift onto each of us. My dad who grew up in the depression, fought for our Country in WWII as a B 24 bomber pilot, flew in the Korean conflict, retired as a US Airforce Captin and worked for ATT for nearly 40 years. He tought us the lesson of hard work, perservence and the will to fight for what is right. His last battle will most likely be that to honor my mom and to help other women and families impacted by this terrible sitaution. As I left him to go back to Houston this week, I told him that he fought well and I was proud of him. Most importantly, my mom would have been proud of him. My sisters are wonderful and I love them all very much. Blessings to each of you. In the strong name of Christ our Savior, David Budke

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