Aaron Leigh Horton
As a marketing and communications professional for more than sixteen years, Mrs. Horton brings a unique perspective to her writings for Mesh Medical Device News Desk. A University of Texas graduate, her joint degree in psychology and public relations is proof that she’s always looking deeper into people and their stories. Her leadership and tenacity to communicate truth have brought success to many businesses and non-profit organizations over her career, and now having walked alongside her mesh-injured loved one for years, she’s using her talents to provide hope to others.
Through an intimate perspective into the daily struggles and wide-ranging symptoms of mesh implantation, she advocates the view of this “mesh syndrome” as a family illness, and aims to advocate for patients by bringing their stories to light.
Mrs. Horton is committed to fighting for those whose lives have been destroyed by this medical device. Her mission is to find and validate the experience of its victims, assure their voices are heard, and ensure all potential patients are fully aware of the threat posed by synthetic mesh. In her free time, you’ll find her with family and friends, cooking, dining out, watching a new documentary or taking a quiet walk with her loving husband and beloved dogs.
Greetings from Nonie Wideman, a survivor of medical complications from Foreign Body Response (FBR) to synthetic medical mesh. I have spent over 15 years advocating for children and families, over twelve of them as a specialized care provider teaching coping and life skills. I had to put into practice myself what I taught after a disastrous experience with implant failure and rejection. I had to recognize the problem, set goals to address the problem, and evaluate the effectiveness of my plan to deal with the problem.
I began relentlessly researching the “what the hell went wrong? “question regarding synthetic medical mesh complications. It appears the “what the hell went wrong” question was largely ignored, unrecognized, and minimalized in the medical community and buried by manufacturers of synthetic medical mesh whom I feel definitely patted themselves on the back, for their part in improving quality of life for people having issues with prolapses, hernias and incontinence. Research revealed a lack of long term studies regarding the safety and reliability of medical mesh implants, the lack of follow up with patients receiving the aforementioned mesh products, lack of understanding by the medical community that they had regarding the rates of failure, the cause of failure, and the consequences of prolonged and chronic FBR.
I wish to challenge all my readers to question the use of synthetic medical mesh and ask for accountability from those who profited from the sale of these products at the expense of a significant number of patients living in the aftermath of synthetic medical mesh degradation and implant failure. With knowledge and truth we can join together to advocate for safety before profit. I hope to empower people to demand honest answers and demand change.
Marion Scott, reporter, the Sunday Mail, Scotland
The mesh story came about after one of Scotland’s top medical negligence lawyers Cameron Fyfe spoke to me about the number of cases he was now being asked to take on involving mesh surgery patients. I then spoke to another lawyer Victoria Ulph who also has a growing number of patients all suffering similar complications following surgery.
As a result, we ran the first two page investigation, speaking to a number of women, one of whom was prepared to waive her anonymity because she felt so strongly about raising awareness.Initially it had been difficult to get women to speak about their problems because of intimacy issues.
But very quickly, our phones started ringing and they have never stopped.
Medical watchdogs the MHRA in the UK had told us that complications for this type of surgery were rare. But we have had over 150 women contacting us in the last few days, each with very similar stories. Most of them had been told by their doctors that their complications were “rare” or “unique”. It struck me that there were an awful lot of rare and unique women suffering out there.
Many of the women have told me that they were left feeling let down and betrayed by those who were supposed to protect and help them.
The impact on their lives has been catastrophic in many cases. Virtually all told me that they were not warned that once implanted, mesh is extremely difficult to remove without causing further damage to tissue and organs.
Many women were in floods of tears as they told their stories. Most were finding out for the first time that they were not on their own after all.They were relieved to find someone was actually prepared to listen and believe them.
The aim of our campaign is to raise awareness and to see a proper register set up for all implants.
The woman have also asked us to campaign for doctors and manufacturers to be compelled to publish complaints, test data and take part in any investigations.
At the moment in the UK, there is nothing to legally compel anyone. The women also feel it is unreasonable for the UK watchdog the MHRA to ask manufacturers to investigate themselves when adverse incident reports are made. They want greater transparency and feel that cannot be achieved unless any investigations are independent.When we asked the Scottish Government to provide us with figures on mesh and tape operations, they told us that they don’t keep them. That is unacceptable.
The figures for England and Wales are available, with at least 65,000 women having undergone surgery of this kind in the past five years.
The knock on effect when mesh operations go wrong is considerable, repeated surgeries, loss of employment, and of course the stress and strain on family lives. Some told me they now had to rely on wheelchairs and waking sticks because their mobility had been affected.
Scotland’s Shadow Health Secretary Jackie Baillie has taken up the women’s concerns and she will raise them in the Scottish Parliament.She has asked Health Secretary Alex Neil to meet with the women to hear their concerns face to face. Scotland’s campaigning family newspaper, the Sunday Mail will continue to write about this issue.