Sarah A Life Lost to Mesh

This is the saddest blog I have to write of all because a young mother with four young children passed away all too soon. It makes me sad to share her story and yet it brings to light how mesh can change a person’s life and sometimes lead to death. The reason is simple. Mesh should never be used on anyone with an immune disorder due to cancer in her past. Let alone the amount of mesh used would have compromised even the healthiest of women. I want you all to know this can happen to woman but by her family sharing it, her life will not be in vain.

This is Sarah’s struggle before her life ended as written by her loving aunt.

The last three months of Sarah’s pregnancy she was in excruciating pain. She kept telling the doctors, their response was that it was pregnancy related. She insisted that they do an ultrasound and that’s when they saw the tumor which was pressing up against the baby’s head.

On November 20, 2010 Sarah had an emergency C-section and delivered a healthy baby boy. During the c-section a large tumor was discovered in her stomach. The tumor was diagnosed as Burkitt’s lymphoma. Sarah went through several chemotherapy treatments which required her to be in and out of the hospital away from her 4 children, she was 29 years old. She was diagnosed as being cancer free.

The summer of 2011 Sarah had recovered from the cancer treatment went on vacation with her kids and did all the things a mother would do with her children.

On October 23, 2011 Sarah had a hysterectomy and abdominal repair. She developed an incisional hernia and had complex abdominal reconstruction. Ethicon Ultra Pro-Mesh was used. A resection was performed and she had repair of her abdominal wall with component separation, retrorectus placement of prosthetic mesh as well as onlay placement. Wound healing problems with purulent drainage from her abdomen.     A 30 x 30 cm Ultrapro mesh was placed in the retrorectus space. The area where the tumor had been excised was a large anterior rectus sheath defect. In order to reconstruct normal abdominal wall anatomy another piece of 15 x 15 Ultra pro was used as an overlay to connect the anterior rectus sheath together.

This is Sarah with her baby boy.

On March 15, 2012 Infected abdominal wound with infected mesh following repair of abdominal hernia. Removal of onlay mesh and retrorectus mesh. Mesh was seen exposed in her wound which had a marked amount of gross purulence. Below are notes from the Doctor.

“This is a 29 year old woman with a complex history. She had Burkitt’s lymphoma a few years ago and ultimately had abdominal mainifestations with tumor in her abdominal wall. A resection was performed and she had repair of her abdominal wall with component separation, retrorectus placement of prosethic mesh as well as onlay placement. She has had wound healing problems off and on with this treatment and ultimately has developed exposed mesh with ongoing purulent drainage from her abdomen. She presented to our office to assist in wound healing. Mesh was seen exposed in her wound which was noted to have a marked amount of gross purulence. She was scheduled for surgery today (3/13/2012) for debridement…..”

On June 8, 2012 was admitted to the hospital because she noticed an increase in drainage from the wound that was yellow in color, bubbly and now bile green and foul smelling with some increased consistency. It was determined that she had fistulas of the intestine. She has put on TPN to rest the bowels. She has severe malnutrition. Current wound care is dry dressing changes. The dressings have to be changed every two hours – the dressings are soaked along with towels and bedding.

This is Sarah trying to get well while taking care of her children.

On Sept 7,2012 Sarah is admitted to the hospital because she is unable to urinate and the there is a foul smell coming from the wound. It is determined that Sarah has a urethral fistula.

As of today Sarah is not able to get out of bed by herself. Her mother has to get her up, bathe and dress her. The Doctors are at a loss as to what to do next. Her weight is currently 104 lbs.

Update: In October 2012 Sarah went to Roswell Hospital to speak with one of the doctors. On October 24th she had the first skin graft done on her stomach. The top half of the graft was successful the bottom was not because of urine leaking into her stomach. They have performed another skin graft. She know has muscle coming through the groin because of all of the drainage from her stomach.

Sarah was released from Roswell Hospital in May 2013. The doctor sent her home to spend time with her children before they did anymore skin grafts. She passed away August 30, 2013.

Sarah left behind four young children but her legacy is the love she felt for them all.

Her family did a memorial tribute to her and you can see it here

I can’t change what happened to Sarah and neither can her family, but they wanted to share her story so that other women will understand the dangers of mesh. I thank all of them very much and they should know every blog I write will help another woman live. Her loss will be others gain because her family have not stayed quiet.

27 Comments

  1. jacqui scott

    Thank You Linda And Sarah’s Family Love To You All <3

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Radema

    Thank you for sharing this heart breaking story…shared.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      I hope many women will share this blog with any woman who is thinking about a female surgery. Knowledge is our power.

      Reply
  3. Gill Watt

    Thank you for sharing Sarah’s story & highlighting the dangers of mesh. Bless this beautiful girl, her family but most of all her children. So sad & so very wrong ♡

    Reply
  4. a meshed-up nurse

    Severe infections are one of the known risk factors of surgical mesh- all attempts should be made to NOT use mesh in patients with compromised immune systems, and this, of course, includes cancer. My heart breaks for Sarah and for her young children…

    Reply
  5. christina

    this is heartbreaking .my heart goes out to you .your daughter was so young ..lord help this grandma ,mother ,family get through this drastic time .thankyou for sharing .im having my mesh removed 27th august ..hugsxxxx

    Reply
  6. Mary PAt

    Mesh. Pain. Suffering. Loss. Heartbreak. Rage. Sorrow. When will it end?
    God help us all. At least Sara had been released from the prison of mesh. Thank God for that mercy.

    Reply
  7. Lisa

    Someone needs to forward this blog to the fda! Complications are NOT RARE!!!
    Women are dying or living in horrible pain. Of course, there are those that will say this is a rare case, but 59,000 lawsuits is not rare! The fda needs to take off their STUPID hat and pull the mesh off the market. Does one of their family members have to die like Sarah, before they will wake up?!

    Reply
  8. justme

    I have read this story over and over, her life could have been spared if this mesh crap was removed from the shelves. She left 4 young ones behind how can a manufactor live with themselves? I say forward this to the FDA and Health Canada and any other government. She sure faught a long life of hell for no reason!!!

    Reply
  9. Jean Sullivan Kraemer

    Thank you all for your kind words, Sarah was is my daughter and I never thought this would of been all of our life’s , I hope and pray that on one has to go through this Sarah fought so had and was so strong and is so loved. I thank God for my sister Peggy she helped me out so much after Sarah passed and she has always been their for all of us. Sarah so loved her Auntie P . Thank you all again. God Bless and let’s get this crap off the market.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Everyone one of us feel your loss Jean because many women have been so close to dying because of mesh. Her life is not in vain. It is reaching hundreds of thousands of women who now know don’t let anyone put mesh in their bodies if they already have a compromised immune system.

      Reply
    2. Mary

      I have share this Jean so that others may be informed.

      Reply
  10. Barbara Roecker

    What a heartbreak! Prayers for Sarah’s beautiful children and those loving and caring for them!
    Mesh robbed them of the most precious person in their lives, their Mama!

    Reply
  11. Joleen Chambers

    Surgery for debridement 3/13/12: was a morcellator surgical device used? http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/824081 Consumers Union Safe Patient Project is collecting our patient harm stories to power policy improvements for patient protections here: http://safepatientproject.org/share-your-story We must all make sure that the preventable harm that has come to this family is corrected so that no other families suffer this severe harm. May they find peace and healing.

    Reply
  12. Amy

    I am so sorry for your loss. It’s so brave of you to try to help everyone with mesh. I had routine hernia repair in June 2010 I have had very similar problems. Three surgeries many drains wound vac. I still have a hole in my abdomin and drainage and no doctors will see me. I have chronic infection and pain they have taken everything from me and left me to die. It’s heartbreaking there’s no help for us.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Amy I am so sorry. Without family advocating for you, you can easily be left without anyone to care. I posted today about Sepsis and last year no urologist would touch me and without home care I would have been left to die. While my nurses came in and out, they told me about going to a woman’s house who was like you. Hernia mesh and open wounds. These nurses cared very much and they took care of women like us when doctors abandoned women. Nurses are wonderful.

      Reply
    2. Jean Sullivan Kraemer

      Amy, who posted on blog about my daughter Sarah, Amy if I can answer any question for you please let me know. Sarah also had the open abdomen and drains, Prayers you find someone to help you,

      Reply
      1. lavalinda

        Thank you Jean for trying to help and inform. There is so much sadness to mesh and everyone needs to be aware.

        Reply
  13. RR-Okie North of Red River!

    All our condolences, I left comments a few other pages. I am passing this story on to many to help warn many more of the dangers of MESH. IT is beyond Sad! My husband and I said prayers last night and will continue to. I cannot put into words for once the sadness and ways I feel about this tragedy. I had mesh put in 2001 finally got it out and an Interstem the next yr. 3surgeries in all in 12 months 2012-2013 with Dr. R after 4LONG drives from Ok to Ca. I try to warn everyone and have stopped a few I know. But it continues to astonish me what I hear NEW tragedies so needless every day. May God Bless you in Heaven and Your little ones and Family on earth. In God’s Love, RR

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      I am sure her family will be warmed by all the condolences. Her life lost is not for nothing and she will live on in the hearts of those who loved her and all the women who come here.

      Reply
  14. Jessica Morrison

    Sarah was such a beautiful woman and her children are amazing. My Aunt Jean, Sarah’s mother is simply an amazing woman for being there and staying strong for Sarah and her children while all of this was going on. I think about Sarah daily and how she was taken from our family way too soon. It’s unfair. The mesh robbed Sarah from seeing her 4 beautiful children grow up. It robbed our entire family of a daughter, grand daughter, sister, cousin, and most of all a mother that should still be with us today. Sarah…. I miss you tons and I will love you so very much!!

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Jessica, no one can feel the loss more than her family but her loss will help so many more women than you could ever know.

      Reply
  15. Ellen

    I am so sorry for your loss,I am at a loss for words I pray these kids and her Husband can be strong.Bless her Family

    Reply
  16. Sharon

    That story utterly saddened me. The only good thing that I feel is that her suffering is over. Many of ours continues on. I don’t mean this to sound the wrong way – only that at times I’ve wished I didn’t have to endure the daily pain I was left in after mesh. I must cry once a day in despair. I’m dealing with a broken foot from a fall that won’t heal. The nerve pain is disastrous. Still, I cry for this woman and the children who will not get to have their mother for all the years they need her. I don’t understand why God does the things He does. This is truly a sorrowful story.

    Reply
  17. Traci Rizzo

    Thank you and her dear family for sharing her story. It is tragic and I’m saddened to read this.

    Reply
  18. Melody

    I am living in hell because of mesh. I pray for you and your grandchildren and pray that GOD will intervene in this world of Greed!

    Reply
  19. Concerned

    Thank you for explaining what happened. I know the family but did not have a clear picture of what happened. I pray this does not happen to any other women.

    Reply

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