A FLINTSHIRE woman is campaigning to raise awareness of severe complications caused by surgical mesh implants used to quell problems following pregnancy.

Maxine Cooper, 56, has been undergoing treatment for four years following major health complications after she received a surgical mesh implant after pregnancy in 2010.

Mesh is a generic name for metallic or polymeric (plastic) implantable surgical devices used as a scaffold to reinforce weaknesses in tissue or bone throughout the human body.

There are several common conditions which it is used to treat, which include hernia, prolapse, stress urinary incontinence and breast reconstruction. They are implanted into men, women and children.

Ms Cooper, from Connah’s Quay, has been laid off work for two years now, and is doubtful she will be able to work again after being left with nerve damage.

She said: “I was working happily in the Flintshire youth justice service but have been on benefits for two years now as I have been unable to work.

“With the extent of the complications and nerve damage I have sustained, and the fact I’m not getting any younger, I’m not sure if if I’ll get back to work.”

Following experiencing stress incontinence after pregnancy nine years ago, she received a surgical mesh implant to deal with the problem.

However, after numerous fruitless doctor’s appointments after experiencing extreme pain and general discomfort, the problems she feared were finally revealed four years later after she received a conclusive second opinion from a specialist in London.

Following scans, it became clear the mesh had sliced through intimate areas of her body and had embedded in the urethra area of her bladder. She was unable to walk for two years, and has received two lots of major major surgery to have the mesh removed.

Because the complications are so complex, only a handful of surgeons across the country are able to conduct the surgery. This means Ms Cooper has had to continually travel to London for consultations and operations.

A number of complications can arise after having mesh implanted. Patients can suffer from internal injuries to neighbouring organs, blood vessels and nerves, which in turn can leave people with severe illnesses and disabilities. These are life altering conditions and in the worst-case scenario may result in death.

Ms Cooper said: “It’s just been an absolute nightmare, it’s completely ruined my life, the mesh has left me disabled and yet I haven’t received any form of care support or compensation.

“I’ve just been left to fend for myself. My niece is also undergoing treatment, and I know of a woman from Mold who is bed bound because she is so ill following the complications, and several others across Flintshire.

“I just want to raise awareness of this issue and warn women of the potential problems they may face, as otherwise they will walk blindly into the operation and could unwittingly become victims.”

Ms Cooper has organised a charity evening to raise money for support charity Mesh UK and Nightingale House hospice in Wrexham.

On Friday, March 29, at 7.30pm, acclaimed psychic medium and clairvoyant James Byrne will be in Connah’s Quay Navy Club for a night of supernatural communication.

Mr Byrne has in the past sold out the London Palladium and has put on more shows than any other psychic medium in the UK.

Tickets are priced at £10 with proceeds after expenses going to the charity. They can be bought from the navy club on Chapel Street in Connah’s Quay, or by calling 07532320779.