In 2013 whilst moving a very large wooden board for painting signage at my daughters school, I developed an abdominal hernia. I was advised to have mesh inserted over the hernia. A quick day clinic procedure. My instincts said no & the Consultant said I could try & loose 2 stone (I am a well proportioned 12) so discomfort was my just dessert whenever I ate well. A friend, Kath Sansom, who was the school photographer & an uber fit, active mum of two, became conspicuous by her absence.
She had been advised to have mesh fitted in an operation called TVT (Trans Vaginal Mesh) & found herself immediately in pain and could not continue her diving, kickboxing & running. Kath decided to research the mesh used as she knew it wasn't right for her & shouldn't be in her body. I elected to Sling the Mesh & live with my hernia, however, as Kath has found over the last 2 years, men & women globally who didn't have options or complications explained to them by their surgeons, are suffering with excruciating physical & mental pain as the rigid plastic mesh inserted into their bodies, twists, distorts & cuts into their nerve endings & internal organs.
Kath decided she must set up a forum on Facebook & asked if I could come up with a logo & The Sling the Mesh Lady was born. I have worked with Kath over the last 2 years & produced the A3 paintings (pictured above) to help illustrate a brief history of mesh.
This has been published as an A4 book with a view to educating not only NHS staff & patients but everyone, to the very real risk of mesh involved surgery. And to explain what can happen, give the already maimed & injured a voice & those considering mesh, that it is one of many options that may be available. The images have been formed into a film by my husband Paul Hayward will be available to view on You Tube & via the Sling the Mesh FB site shortly.
I am honoured to have attended The Houses of Parliament in London on 18/07/17 with Kath Sansom & some incredible men & women. Warriors who travelled from all over the British Isles (at short notice & great personal financial & physical expense so that they could share their horrific stories during an historic day when Owen Smith MP, announced in the house that in September 2017, the first meeting of the newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group on Mesh Implants will be held.
It has been an utter privilege to have been a part of this project & creative process & to meet the ladies & gentlemen who have been affected by Mesh & yet present themselves with such dignity, grace & strength.
If you have been affected by Mesh or know anyone who has, please direct them to join Sling the Mesh on Facebook or Twitter. Its your body & you should be informed so that you make the choice.
Michelle Deyna-Hayward x