Mesh implant woman’s son: ‘They have to put a stop to this’

Eileen Baxter died of organ failure, but her implant was listed as an underlying cause.

Eileen Baxter: Died last month.
Eileen Baxter: Died last month.

The son of woman whose death has been linked to her mesh implant has called for a ban on the controversial operation.

Eileen Baxter had what was meant to be a simple operation, but the mesh implant had devastating effects on the final years of her life.

The 75-year-old great-grandmother died of organ failure last month, but her implant was listed as an underlying cause.

“My mum was the life and soul of the party, prior to her getting her mesh repair,” said Max Baxter.

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“She lived for her grandkids, for her kids.”

Max said that the operation affected her really badly, and she went downhill from there.

“She had numerous problems with going to the toilet and everyday life – pains in her legs, legs swollen, back pain,” he continued.

“She always said that this is the mesh that’s doing this.

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“When I saw the death certificate I was really shocked, I thought ‘oh my God, that’s what killed my mum.'”

It is thought Eileen’s death is the first in Scotland to be linked to the controversial operation.

More than 20,000 women have received mesh implants in the last two decades, mainly for conditions such as incontinence and pelvic prolapse, but in recent years, campaigners highlighted painful and debilitating complications arising from the procedure.

Just last month, six days before Eileen’s death, Scotland’s chief medical officer rejected calls to ban mesh outright.

However on Thursday, health minister Jeanne Freeman said she has not ruled out a review into the use of the procedure and circumstances of Eileen’s death.

“It is really a serious matter – we’ve always taken the position, in terms of mesh implants in women, very seriously indeed,” she said.

“I’ll be talking to our chief medical officer and others about what this implies based on any further information that we get – and we need to have that information.”

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MSP Neil Findlay from Scottish Labour demanded the NHS boards stop using mesh completely.

He said: “I want the government and NHS boards to clear the shelves of this grotesque product.

“I think no other mesh kits should be bought and I think we need to take action to ensure that no other woman is implanted with this stuff.”

Max added: “I’m no medical expert but the hospitals have got to now realise that they’ve admitted basically on the death certificate that this was the cause of mum’s death.

“They’ve got to basically put a stop on this – this is serious stuff, it basically killed my mum, it’s that serious.

“We’re the voice for my mum now, she never had that chance.”


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