Woman’s death after pelvic mesh complications: ‘The pain is just too much’

Close: Alison Blake and daughter Leesa Tolhurst. Mrs Blake committed suicide in June, 2015 after multiple pelvic mesh surgery operations that left her with severe and disabling pain, and unable to urinate without a catheter.

ALISON Blake took her own life in June 2015 only two weeks after a doctor told hernothing couldbe done to easeher pain oraddress the devastating consequences ofpelvic mesh device surgery.

“I cannot bear the thought of leaving you but the emotional torment and physical pain I’m going through are just too much,” Mrs Blake, 64, said in a final letter to her only child, Leesa Tolhurst.

“I simply cannot bear to be lying on a couch for months on end and to have to rely on catheters, enemas, Temazepam, pain killers and be a burden to my family and friends.”

Read more: Senator Derryn Hinch calls for total ban on mesh devices

Mrs Tolhurstsobbed this week as she remembered the turning point forher mother.

“She’d gone to the doctor hoping that perhaps something could be done. She was hysterical when she came here and said there was nothing left. I just tried to comfort her. I remember her as she drove away from my house, there was just a look in her eyes,” Mrs Tolhurst said.

Mrs Blake, a primary school teacher, was implanted with a prolapse pelvic mesh device in October, 2013 and suffered immediatecomplications, including severe and consistent pain. Her surgeon tried to remove the mesh six weeks later. She had further unsuccessful surgery to treat the complications in May and July, 2014. By November, 2014, the pelvic mesh device was one of the first in the world to be removed from the market because of lack of evidence it was safe and effective to use.

Leesa Tolhurst about her mother, Alison Blake.Suffer in Silenceis a Newcastle Herald investigation spearheaded by journalist Joanne McCarthy

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