March 20, 2019

Winnipeg
-4° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Woman in agony after transvaginal mesh inserted

‘It’s like I died Jan. 10 of 2012’

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/1/2013 (2242 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Sometimes, Christine Asprey prays to die.

A 49-year-old mother of four, Asprey said she's been wracked by pain since surgery last year, where she received a transvaginal mesh.

Now, a group of Winnipeggers has banded together to raise thousands of dollars for Asprey to go to Los Angeles for medical help.

The mesh was a medical device meant to help Asprey. Instead, she believes it has caused her infections, excruciating hip and leg pain, neuromuscular pain, vaginal burning and pain, and emotional pain.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/1/2013 (2242 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Christine Asprey is hoping to go to Los Angeles to have the mesh removed. Friends are holding a fundraiser for her in March.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Christine Asprey is hoping to go to Los Angeles to have the mesh removed. Friends are holding a fundraiser for her in March.

Sometimes, Christine Asprey prays to die.

A 49-year-old mother of four, Asprey said she's been wracked by pain since surgery last year, where she received a transvaginal mesh.

Now, a group of Winnipeggers has banded together to raise thousands of dollars for Asprey to go to Los Angeles for medical help.

The mesh was a medical device meant to help Asprey. Instead, she believes it has caused her infections, excruciating hip and leg pain, neuromuscular pain, vaginal burning and pain, and emotional pain.

"It's like a cheese grater; every time I move it's taking pieces of tissue off," said Asprey.

Asprey worked as a hospital program assistant before she had an approximately two-hour surgery early last January at Health Sciences Centre's Women's Hospital.

She's been off work since and said she now is living "hell on Earth."

During the surgery, Asprey had a hysterectomy to deal with abnormal cells and received a mesh to help with incontinence and a prolapsed bladder. The complications started three weeks later, she said.

The mesh is made of polypropylene and stretches from the tailbone to the pubic bone.

"When I'm in that much pain, I do pray to God to die; yes, I want to die, because it's like a tug of war in my vagina that's pulling," she said.

Asprey's not alone in her complaints. The device has become a target of controversy, with dozens of women in Canada suing manufacturers for pain they say they've suffered due to meshes.

Paul Miller, Asprey's lawyer, said he's representing 160 women across Canada who have received the devices.

That includes Asprey and three other women in Manitoba, he said.

"I just thought I was doing a good thing for myself," she said.

Following her surgery, Asprey had problems urinating and had pain down the left side of her body.

In April 2012, she had another surgery. By October 2012, she was hospitalized for two more weeks because she could not walk.

She said she now feels "desperate" for relief.

"I can't sit. I can't drive... it's just devastating that your whole life is gone, your whole quality of life is gone," she said.

"You're a different person. It's like I died Jan. 10 of 2012."

Asprey said she and her doctor have written a letter to the government seeking help out of province. She does not have an answer yet.

Health officials disagree about the outcome of transvaginal mesh procedures.

Heidi Graham, spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), said "transvaginal mesh procedures are used for the treatment of urine incontinence and vaginal prolapse."

Graham said using the mesh for urine incontinence has been "extensively studied" and provides "excellent treatment."

Each year, she said, there are 700 to 900 mesh-sling procedures done in the regional Women's Health Program to help patients with incontinence.

"Like any other surgical procedure, there are risks, but for this procedure they are quite low," she said. "For treating vaginal prolapse, the use of transvaginal mesh is not well-studied and does have higher rates of associated complications."

Graham said there are surgeons in the province who can take out the devices.

A spokeswoman for Manitoba Health said there have been 1,848 surgeries to insert transvaginal mesh in the last two years.

"To date, Manitoba Health has received and paid five claims for surgery performed in Winnipeg for the removal/repair of vaginal mesh," said the spokeswoman.

"In addition, Manitoba Health has received two requests for out-of-province consultations associated with previous mesh insertions. Both have been approved."

To get approval to go outside Manitoba for treatment, the spokeswoman said, a patient requires "a recommendation from a specialist that a patient needs a necessary, specific medical service" not available here.

Asprey's friends and family have formed a committee to raise thousands of dollars they say Asprey needs to travel to the U.S. and get specialized medical treatment at the University of California.

They'll be holding a fundraiser on March 15 at the Oak, at Canada Inns Destination Centre on Regent Avenue.

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 9:05 AM CST: Adds line regarding letter to Manitoba Health.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us