I spend most of my days lying on my back, because of the severe pain that results from both sitting and standing for anything over than an hour due to a Johnsons & Johnsons pelvic floor mesh I had implanted. After the surgery, I suffered excruciating pain and this destroyed my ability to work and took a toll on my marriage and family. I was told that I was imagining things and to see a psychologist by my doctor. If it wasn’t for my class action I never would have found out I had a faulty medical device implanted in my body.
Because of the class action, it has brought thousands of women together to fight and seek treatment and get the correct information needed to help improve our quality of life. It’s the reason there was an inquiry into the use and safety of mesh and it was the reason the government has now set up mesh clinics in hospitals all across Australia to help us.
It’s also been incredibly important to hold such a big and powerful company responsible and to send a very powerful message that they can no longer get away with this behaviour and the ‘little people’ will no longer be silent. I actually called a few law firms before deciding to join the class action to see if I could take action on my own and I was basically hung up on or turned away.
I think when I joined the class action there was about 300 women involved, now after media coverage and court mandated letters that went out to patients who had mesh implanted, there are now thousands. I can’t speak about how much of an impact receiving compensation would be to my life – I try not to get ahead of myself just in case they win the appeal. But, because I have been left so damaged, I have been unable to work from the age of 27, I pray that justice will prevail and I am able to give my children a better life financially even if my physical capabilities of giving them a better life has been stripped from me.
Class action lawsuits such as this one against Johnson and Johnson are so incredibly important, not only financially but psychologically as well. The day the judge ruled in our favour, I cried and cried all day, finally someone believed us, after years of pain and suffering and endless doctors appointments and hospital visits and many surgeries later, we had a voice, we were heard and Johnson and Johnson would be held accountable for the destruction they have caused to countless women’s lives. Now I just hope that they are made to pay.
I do know if things were to change so that class action lawsuits wouldn’t be possible anymore, so many people would be unjustly suffering in silence and nothing would change. Big business would be able to abuse their power without any consequence and it’s the little people who shape our community that would be left to suffer in silence.