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Weekly journalist takes fight to ban medical procedure to Westminster

A regional journalist has taken her fight to ban an operation which left her a “physical wreck” to Westminster.

Kath Sansom, who works for weekly titles the Cambs Times, Wisbech Standard and Ely Standard, was joined by more than 80 women and their families from across the country in a bid to urge Parliament for a suspension of mesh implant operations.

Kath launched her Sling The Mesh drive after she underwent an operation to have what is known as a TVT mesh sling for bladder problems, following childbirth.

Campaigners says they have suffered serious life changing pelvic floor injuries and long term chronic pain as a result of what is described as a minor procedure.

A 2015 story about the campaign which appeared on the Royston Crow's front page

A 2015 story about the campaign which appeared on the Royston Crow’s front page

Said Kath: “I now have more than 2,200 members of Sling The Mesh. All of us who are suffering were told it was a simple 20 minute fix. What none of us were told were the devastating complications.

“There are women who now struggle to walk, are in constant pain, suffer infections, loss of sex life or worse mesh shrinking and cutting into bladders, bowels or slicing through vaginal walls.

“When it goes wrong it is catastrophic and even if women have the mesh removed, it is such major surgery, that the women never go back to what they once were. The mesh fixes problems of incontinence or prolapse but in its path can leave a trail of disaster that is much bigger.”

Supporters of Sling The Mesh include shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith and retired surgeon John Osborne, as well as her colleagues at the Times and Standards.

Kath’s editor John Elworthy said: “I have watched with astonishment and enormous pride this campaign take shape. If you’d seen Kath’s battle with her own fight to get the mesh removed, you’d have an understanding of the agony and debilitating effect of when a medical procedure goes wrong.

“Keeping up with Kath on her campaign work has been easy – every time you hear a keyboard being typed furiously at the other end of the room you sense she’s working on the social media campaign to hammer home the message.

“Her capacity to combine her work for us and to run what has become a fast growing national campaign is both extraordinary and exhilarating.

“I have been privileged to work over many years with campaigning and spirited journalists but rarely have I encountered anyone with such determined application, a great sense of humour, and more than a dash of self deprecation.”