Free Case Evaluation
Connect
With Us

Daughter Fighting Late Mother’s Pelvic Mesh Case

Vada Mae Smith, son Jimmy, and grandson

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, November 27, 2017 ~ Mary Dickson plans to go up against healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson over its pelvic mesh on behalf of her late mother, Vada Mae Smith, unless she can find a law firm to take her case.

Vada Mae Smith spent most of her life in Summers County, West Virginia.

Her father, Daniel Green Sears, was a railroader and his wife handed one-month old Vada Mae over to Daniel on a street corner in Hinton W.V. a few days before Christmas 1942.

When he married, he would be able to gain official custody under West Virginia law, but that didn’t happened until Vada was four years old.

Vada Mae and her dad

Eventually, the mother went on to marry a richer man who worked in the Chevrolet plant in Cleveland.

At the end of her mother’s life, Vada asked if she had ever done anything her mother was proud of. No, she was told.

Mary, Vada Mae’s daughter, says Vada suffered from abandonment issues all of her life.

###
Vada’s Death

Vada Mae and Zayden

Vada cleaned houses for a living. She had five children and gave them biblical names. Her husband, Robert Buckland, father of her children, died in May 1972 of a heart attack.

Vada Mae died September 13, 2016. The cause of death is listed as multisystem failure. No medications could address her antibiotic-resistant chronic infections.

Vada Mae Smith was 73 years old.

The last 16 years of Vada’s life was a living hell, says her daughter, spent in and out of the hospital and nursing homes.

Mary says her mother’s health declined after she received two transvaginal mesh implants, one in 2001 and another in 2006. Both were made by Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Mary Dickson is now the personal representative of her mother’s estate.

Mary reached out to MND to help tell her mother’s story and find someone to represent her mother in a possible wrongful death and product liability lawsuit against the healthcare giant. The case is set for trial in spring 2018.

###
Mary Dickson

Mary Dickson

The Smith complaint is filed in federal court in the Southern District of WV, (No. 2:15-cv-02800), where more than 104,000 defective product cases have been consolidated against seven manufacturers, alleging transvaginal mesh is defective.

It states a TVT (Tension-Free vaginal tape) was implanted in Vada Mae to treat incontinence by Dr. Michael Lassere, MD at Low Moore Virginia Columbia Alleghany Regional Hospital on August 17, 2001.

But Mary says she has found records that show the TVT Blue, used to treat incontinence, was implanted 70 days before it received the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(K) clearance for market.

She also found medical records that show a second mesh, a TVT-O, was implanted in 2006.

The original Smith complaint didn’t have the second mesh or the fact that the TVT Blue should not have been on the market.

The complaint did not contain the additional surgery Vada underwent in September 2002 to fix her prolapse, is missing two hospice recommendations that can be considered a cause of death; the 20 transfusions to address mysterious rectal and vaginal bleeding, transfusions that made her blood type difficult to match; and the fact that antibiotics could no longer address her chronic UTI’s.

That too goes toward cause of death and holds as much weight as an autopsy and medical examiner,” she insists.

Mary and husband, Rick

We need as much evidence as you could gather to go up against J&J‘s lawyers.  And two hospice referrals with UTIs antibiotic resistant I thought was very important because these are known mesh symptoms.” ~ Mary Dickson

She requested of her two law firms to amend the complaint and when they didn’t Mary asked to be dropped as a client. They agreed.  She is proceeding Pro Se, Latin for “on one’s own behalf.”

Judge Joseph Goodwin who is overseeing the multidistrict litigation in Charleston, W.V. has given Mary until December 11th to obtain counsel or provide the court with evidence she is the sole beneficiary and has no creditors.

###

Leakage and Bleeding 

TVT-O from beckenbodenzentrummuenster.de

Vada’s youngest boy, Jimmy, was born in October 1971 and soon afterward Vada began bleeding.

The next year had a complete hysterectomy. There was some question that she might have cancer, but no medical record, among the 3,000 pages Mary has collected, reflects that diagnosis and Vada received no treatment for cancer such as chemotherapy or radiation.

The complete hysterectomy in January 1972 removed the cervix, ovaries and uterus.  Vada was 29 years old.

By the time she was referred to gynecologist Dr. Michael Lassere in 2001, she had started leaking urine. The condition was getting worse.

Dr. Lassere used a polypropylene mesh implant, the Ethicon Gynecare TVT-Blue System AA, with an abdominal accessories kit. The kit came with the tools used to implant the mesh.

Mary said she has found no informed consent documents.

After her TVT implant, Vada began experiencing problems.

Vada had a lot of pain in her right groin. She was still leaking but now she was losing her balance and falling. Vada developed MRSA in a wound in her right knee from a fall.

An interstim was implanted to tell her when she should pee but, Mary calls it “ridiculous.”

“She was still leaking even between. It wouldn’t vibrate. It (pee) would start rolling out of her.”

Mary says her mother felt aches and pain all over, in her abdomen and pelvic area, up the back of her legs.  She had to take her fingers and move her bowel out of the way to urinate because something was blocking the urine flow. She could not have a bowel movement without difficulty.

She was upset and was treated for anxiety and fibromyalgia.

Mary says six months after the TVT was put in, Vada had a distinct odor that you could even smell it outside of her house. Mary believes its’ related to polypropylene, the synthetic polymer that is used to make transvaginal mesh. Her mother was incredibly embarrassed and it wouldn’t go away. You would smell it when she was on the commode, when her legs were apart in the bathroom.

###

The Mystery Patient 

Mary, Vada Mae and Ruth

Dr. Joseph Moshy (Joseph Mouchizadeh) MD, urologist from Lewisburg WV, took over from Dr. Lassere, October 4, 2002.

A February 26, 2005, a record from Dr. Moshy says the patient has a catheter but it is unclear why she is bleeding.

The medical records show Dr Moshy decided to implant a second Ethicon mesh, the TVT-O (Obturator) on September 27, 2006.

The urinary tract infections never cleared up. Urine leakage and falls were a regular occurrence.

By February 2008, Vada was taken to the ER with chest pain, UTI’s and vomiting. Lab tests revealed chronic kidney disease. There was an increase in urine urgency. Back to the ER in October Vada experienced infections, rectal bleeding, urinary tract infections, COPD (she never smoked), gastritis, dizziness, and repeat UTI’s.

Vada Mae had been self-catheterizing to urinate since 2001 and told Mary urination was painful.

In August 2010 she was back in Raleigh General Hospital ER in Beckley WV, with cramping in the pelvic area. She had a kidney bacterial infection and UTI’s. Vada still had incontinence.

Biofilm around mesh

Two months later, it was back to the ER with a tear in her bladder and vaginal bleeding.  Blood was found in her urine and she had MRSA. The source of the vaginal or rectal bleeding was never found. It never happened at the same time.

Mary says Vada was known as the Mystery Patient by every doctor because they could never find the source for her bleeding.

By August 2011, Vada Mae had been admitted to the ER five times for chronic infections, anemia, falls, UTIs.

Tests revealed her bacterial infections were resistant to multiple antibiotics. She entered a nursing home in November of that year. Vada Mae couldn’t walk or go to the bathroom on her own. She was on hydrocodone and bleeding constantly.

She was on a round of antibiotics and a urinalysis showed greater than 1,000 colonies of gram negative rods. She had grown resistant to Levaquin, Cipro and Bactrin.   Dr Moshy said there was no more he could do. He gave her Vitamin c and said there was “no point in intervening on this lady.”

After that, Vada May was admitted to the ER every week until the end of her life.

###
An Ad on TV

Prolene Mesh

In November 2014, Veda Mae saw an ad on television about the symptoms. She wrote it down. Vada told Mary, “I think this might be what’s wrong with me.”

So far, no one had identified the mesh as the culprit behind her ongoing chronic infections or her bleeding.

Mary contacted four law firms and she says every one of them wanted the case. One firm said 40%. That’s too much said Mary. Another wanted 33.3%. Mary went to the first firm and asked if it would match the 33.3%. They would, if it didn’t go to trial.

Mary, and her sister Ruth, went back to Dr. Moshy in early 2015 and said they wanted the mesh removed. He refused because it hadn’t eroded, there was nothing wrong with the mesh, Mary was told, and removal would do more harm than good. The records show,

TVT

“Cystoscopy was performed…..…there was a whole mass of papillary type inflammatory change around the trigone and around the ureteric orifices. I was able to see the left ureteric orifice with no difficulty. The right ureteric orifice was extremely difficult to see and covered with heaped up material…I was able to spot weld these areas and managed to control the bleeding.”

A new urologist, Dr. Lohri from Charleston, WV, found unidentified sediment in her bladder.

In a desperate bid to identify her problems doctors diagnosed chronic kidney disease stage 3, (an autopsy found no problem), and Parkinson’s disease (a brain autopsy showed it was normal).

Vada Mae was identified with untreatable sepsis in September 2015. Superbugs they were called.  Antibiotics would no longer work on the infections.  The hospital could no longer match her blood, Type A+ because it was so altered from transfusions and antibodies, it had become slightly different blood.

A high fever and white blood cell count continued until her death.

ER visits now numbered at least 15 to 20 times a year, Mary says, until the end of Vada’s life.

Vada developed green sores, the same green in her catheter bag, says Mary. By August 2016 she went downhill. Vada wouldn’t wake up or talk. She was completely dehydrated; she wouldn’t drink or eat.

Despite her declining health, Vada knew her daughters. She would light up when they entered the room.

###
Cause of Death

Vada Mae Smith

When Vada Mae died September 13, 2016, she was struggling with a 104 degree temperature and was fighting to breathe. Mary and Ruth asked for morphine but the nursing home was slow to respond.  Mary says her mother was suffering at the end.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death was interstitial cystitis, chronic with multidrug resistant bacteria leading to multisystem failure. The bladder was three times its normal size. There were multiple areas of apparent bacterial colonization.

Dense adhesions make dissection of the pelvic structures difficult, it says.  “There is a palpable foreign body present in a dense scar on the anterior surface of the residual vagina.” A dissection found dark blue to brown thin band-like structures of densely and fibrotic tissue.

Mary is still grieving her mother and sister Ruth who died in January 2017 of atherosclerosis.  The hospital report shows Ruth had acquired sepsis as well.

“I will give what I have left of my Mom-the untold and dismissed facts and records, of what a Powerful and Trusted Company, J&J has done to millions of women….. My Mom was literally tortured to death, by a 2 cent piece of odor-absorbing and odor-retaining piece of plastic, implanted in her with no turning back.”~ Mary Dickson

Meanwhile, Ethicon set the deposition of implanting physician, Dr. Lassere for November 16, but the case is stayed in an order by Judge Goodwin. He has given Mary Dickson until December 11th to find representation or proceed Pro Se.

###
Wave 7

Vada Mae Smith’s trial is set for next May 15th along with 150 remaining pelvic mesh cases naming defendant Ethicon, amassed in Wave 7 (here) before Judge Goodwin.  The trials will be continuous until all 150 cases in Wave 7 cases are completed.

Vada Mae Smith would have been 75 years old on November 26.

###

 

 

 

 

29 Comments

  1. Mary says:

    Sent from my iPhone.
    MsMaryDickson

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Mary Dickson
    Date: November 23, 2017 at 10:24:44 AM EST
    To: Jane Akre
    Subject: What I know…

    Dear Jane,
    As I look back…I have learned, that some people suffer-so others can live. Without those who suffer, there would be no happiness, or peace…
    ….whether it be a soldier,
    an orphan, or a broken heart…pain and suffering is crucial to Life’s Circle.
    Every living soul, came into existence, with great pain…and losing a soul-to death, can be the most painful experience in life.
    I do not want my Mothers Suffering and my Sisters Sacrifices, to end in sorrow.
    Because of a
    Penny Piece Of Plastic-
    A Greedy Giant has destroyed lives-All over the World. The United States remains silent, as other countries, cry out “Please Stop”…
    This is a silent genocide that remains unspoken, and unknown.
    Without people, like Jane Akre-
    My Mother would have never been spoken of, and her suffering would have no meaning…
    There would be no way Mom could spare others or their loved ones, from a life of painful horror.
    Mother never had the chance to tell you. I have gathered and read, thousands of her records. I want all of you reading this, to protect those you love, from allowing Polypropylene
    The Penny Piece of Plastic-to ever be implanted in your body, or anyone’s body, without knowing how deadly it can be. J&J is not your Baby’s Friend. They are no ones friend. They have preyed on Women and Children, and continue to refuse to accept responsibility, or even apologize-for this cheap excuse to keep peddling their Polypropylene.
    They never will. Money is the only word people listen to. There is no $ amount, that can fix this. It must be the voices of those of us who still live.
    My heart, and prayers are with all of you.
    Thank you Jane Akre. You are a rare and precious gem, and I know my Mother is smiling.

    Sent from my iPhone.
    MsMaryDickson

    • Jane Akre says:

      You are welcome Mary. I hope it helps… your mother suffered so.

    • Julia Christy says:

      Mary,
      As I read this tears stream down my face. I watched you suffer greatly as your mother suffered. I worried about you so many days and so many nights. You begged the medical profession to help, you begged for answers, to which there was never a reply. Then, this brings me back to the day your mom passed. I didn’t know how you would get through it. But you found the strength. As you always have.
      It changes your life when you watch a loved one suffer, tortured….when it could have all been avoided.
      Mary, I have known you now for 28+ years. You have been a care taker to incomparable heights. You have always fought the good fight. Now you are David VS Galiath. The good Lord is with you. Keep fighting. You won’t be alone.
      Your mom’s suffering, her death , ALL A GREAT INJUSTICE. One that must be reconciled by the powers at be.

  2. Heather A says:

    I have ethicon pro-lite mesh was 6×3 inches now it is half the size.
    I have the large white blood cells. And hot and swollen abdomen.
    I am nearly dead. I had bad hot spasms all weekend I was alone. I used catheter plastic tube in a bottle so I could just put the plastic in my mouth to drink. I couldn’t move. I room pain relief every 2 hours. To (help) was like die here or just stay here don’t move a inch was so sore. I planned on putting a nappie thing on. But I could not bend to do that. One day it will be how it will be for me to pass . I had the Mesh put in on the 31/1/2004. I never even went to hospital for that operation. I got the “wrong” operation so no consent is there and NO operation notes are written about this. This mesh is in my “oestophasus” for no reason.

  3. Daniee S says:

    As I am reading this story tears are
    Running.

    She was getting rotten, and the doctors could not figure out, that plastic was just eating her.

    • Mary says:

      Heather, Daniee, and Dawn…
      You are so important and I am touched and thankful for y’all sharing tears for my Mom. She was so funny and humble. And I’m sure her sweet spirit is thankful that you feel sincere sadness for what she suffered.
      Heather and Dawn, I feel sincere sadness for you as well, because I watched Polypropylene rip my Mothers insides like a sausage grinder, and had no idea what it was, or anything about it until TV Ads.You are the reason my Mom wanted donate her body to scientific research.. to prevent everyone from the horrid life she was cursed to live.
      My heart and prayers are with you all and your voice and feelings are much more powerful than you know. I encourage you to read and research every detail about your case. I also know that a daily journal is of utmost importance to your pain and suffering. Have a family member or friend record you talking about what has happened to you.🙏🏽

  4. Dawn says:

    Jane,
    You have written so many stories over the past 6 years about mesh. This story absolutely just breaks my heart . No human being should have to live their last years like this. God bless this family. I am heartbroken for them .
    Mesh is not good for the human body. Maybe some people’s bodies take longer to break it down. Mine started breaking it down within 2 weeks.
    I know ” that smell” 😢 That is our bodies decaying.! It’s the most putrid, awful smell. So very embarrassing.
    Vada Mae, may God hold you tightly , wrapped in love..

  5. Kitty says:

    It is so obvious to us that have had better care and Drs’.. that this woman was left to rot by disregard and ignorance. I am sure she was taken directly to heaven upon her death.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Kitty. Thank you to each of you. It’s been the saddest time of my life, and I don’t think I will ever stop crying.

  6. Regina says:

    Mary my Prayers are with you ! Iam so very sorry you and your family have gone through this horrific time. I also have the odor and again have blood in my urine. I know it’s because it has punctured my bladder. I believe this is what happened to your mother. Scar tissue and pus was found in my bladder by MRI 2 yrs ago and the Dr would not state it was from the mesh, although I had not had previously any bladder surgeries. My heart just broke when reading about your mother, now I g this must have been what was happening g to her. These tears don’t help her now but Praise God he had Mercy and carried her home with him. I will be Praying and Supporting you ALL THE WAY through this time !! God Be With You Dear One !!!!

  7. Hilly says:

    Mary,
    You are in my prayers and thoughts especially as the Christmas holidays are upon us. Your mother’s story is very similar to my own.
    I also had a hysterectomy at 30 for multiple cysts and then had my first of two mesh products. It had completely eroded and had to see 2 doctors to get them to remove it. I had my 2 mesh product and I have severe stomach and groin issues and also have that very embarrassing smell. The doctor has told me that this smell is “something I ate”. It is almost a relief that others are experiencing the same smell. I can’t seem to get a doctor to do anything about the pain or the smell. I also have interstim that definitely doesn’t work at all. I’m ready to just be done. I struggle each and every day to continue doing something for my family. I struggle each and every day to find the strength to carry on. I’m in pain every day and feel like a burden to my husband and my family. I put on a happy face in front of my family because I have a daughter that is pregnant and another with 2 kids already, I also have a 5 and 7 year old that need my attention all the time. My husband works 12 hours 6 days a week 2 hours away from our home, mostly because I am not able to work and really don’t want to leave home.
    Your story has inspired me to continue another day. Please keep up the fight for your mother and keep inspiring victims to continue theirs.

  8. Sherry says:

    Do you know of a doctor in Ohio that will remove all of my sling ,I am suffering bad from it ?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Sherry- the only doc Ive heard about is :
      Dr. Steven Balaloski, Columbus Ohio

      Not a personal recommendation just a surgeon women were referred to….. Honestly I would choose the best I could find and have as few surgeries as possible! Miklos in Atlanta, Veronikis in st louis, Here are a few more… Argue with your insurance company and don’t let them dictate your medical care. you need a specialist!!!
      Dr. Charles Butrick in Overland Park, KS.
      Dr. Michael Hibner in Phoenix. (602) 406-6017. Dignity Health
      Dr. Raz, Urology Department, UCLA. 310-794-7700
      Dr. Lennox Hoyt, Tampa, 2 Tampa General Circle, 4th Floor Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 259 – 8500
      Dr. Christopher Walker in Orlando, private practice, UroGyn Specialists 407-648-9400
      Dr. Una Lee, 206-341-0560. Seattle, WA, Virginia Mason

  9. Birgit O says:

    Jane, Exactly how does one find out what “wave” they are in? Does being in later waves mean you have had more surgeries. Do complications play any role in deciding what amount of settlement money is offered?
    Thanks.

  10. Waiting for Justice says:

    Can anyone at least tell us how the waves work? Jane I know you say contact your attorney but it is hard to get any straight answers from them. I know you then say fire your attorney. Then what be hung out to dry with no one to represent us. Sorry if I sound harsh I am not trying to. I know you are doing a great service and I thank you for that!

    • Jane Akre says:

      When you have to litigate a bunch of cases with similar issues they amass them……I’ve never seen it in actually. There were 4 litigants in Miami for the last Boston Sci trial… Basically you get the similar issues established, then present the individual stories. A massive undertaking I imagine…..

      • Still standing says:

        Like Advocate, I think that the more facts we understand, the better women are at advocating for themselves. Since wave cases seem to be confusing, here is what waves are . It has nothing to do with people with similar complications being tried together. Waves are ordered to try to move the cases toward resolution. Each side gets to pick the cases they want worked up for trial. Of course the defense wants the weakest cases, the plaintiff attorneys want the strongest. If 100 cases are ordered, the plaintiff attorneys (the MDL lead attorneys) get to pick 50 and the defense picks 50. It could be more or less, no set number. That is one wave. The judge is hoping there will be a settlement during this process of getting trial ready. Being made trial ready is costly and those costs will come off the top of your settlement along with the attorney negotiated % and money you must pay for the common benefit fund. Be informed this is a very expensive process, thousands and thousands of dollars that are your responsibility to pay. Going rate for treating doctor depositions is $1500/HOUR. This is not just the actual deposition time, but also “chart review” by the physician prior to deposition , which can be several hours more at $1500/ HOUR. Sometimes it can be far better for your attorney to negotiate settlement before filing your case because the defendant doesn’t get to “discover” any negative things about you that they could use to reduce their settlement offer. Once your case is filed, all of your records are open to the defendant attorneys. Being in an early wave added cost of more than $80,000 to my case, which was in addition to the negotiated percent. If your law firm ends up settling their clients, the trial ready status of your case may be insignificant. The plus to being trial ready is that your medical records should be more complete because you have filed a lengthy plaintiff fact sheet and given permission to search your medical records. This would assure there is documentation of your injury and treatments.

  11. What would people think if someone found out that Eticon performed multiple unconsented trials on a male patient?
    What would people think if Ethicon had a Professor placed in a hospital who had performed the first U.K. clinical trials involving mesh implants?
    What would people say if a member of the U.K. parliament has admitted that the above mentioned Professor tried to hide the evidence related to clinical trials that were performed on 115 patients at the Royal Liverpool Hospital in 1989
    The above mentioned M.P.finally had to admit in a letter to the U.K. Health Ombudsman that she was deeply concerned in relation to the unconsented polypropylene mesh implant performed in 1989.
    What would people say if the above mentioned Professor was involved in designing further mesh hernia patches for Ethicon and he performed three further operations on the patient in 1995 2006 and 2008?
    What would people say if the hospital tried to hide all the evidence of the further mesh implants and denied nine times in bold capital letters that they had implanted the mesh?
    What would people say if the patient left the hospital in 2010 and then went on to have six further operations to remove the mesh?
    What would people say if the patient had photographic and written evidence from German surgeon Georg Arlt which proved that the Royal Liverpool Hospital had implanted three seperate mesh patches into his groin?
    What would people say if the patient found a single Ethicon batch sticker naming the manufacturers as Ethicon Sommerville New Jersey?
    What would people say if the patients M.P. showed the stamp to the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the hospital then sent a letter of apology to the patients M.P.
    What would people say if the M.P. then wrote to the Health Ombudsman in the U.K. and told her that the Royal Liverpool Hospital had implanted numerous mesh patches into the patient without his consent?
    What would people say if the patient had spent around fifty hours on the operating table?
    What would people say if the patient has a letter which has been written by the President of the European Pain Society ,and in his letter he has admitted that no doubt the initial cause of the patients pain was the original mesh implant?
    I am the above mentioned patient and I have attended five different pain clinics in five seperate hospitals
    I have nearly died on the operating table more than once
    I have been to the emergency hospital department around fifty times with symptoms such as choking on my own feceas and urinating pure blood
    I have all the above mentioned evidence and would like to share it with others, thank you for reading this message

  12. Lordhelpus says:

    How the hell is this not a crime?! Can someone tell me?…

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

© 2016 - 2017 Mesh Newsdesk. All rights reserved.
This is a Sundown Legal Marketing law firm website.