Medical Error Interviews
Michelle Hedgcoth: How transvaginal mesh ruined my body and my career - but not my spirit

Michelle Hedgcoth: How transvaginal mesh ruined my body and my career - but not my spirit

April 19, 2021

Implanting plastic mesh inside our bodies doesn’t sound like a smart thing -- and it wouldn’t have happened to Michelle Hedgcoth if a previous medical error hadn’t damaged her body.

Michelle was a healthy and happy career woman when she gave birth - but the doctor, who had given Michelle an episiotomy, failed to sew her back up after the baby was delivered. This failure would have devastating consequences on every aspect of Michelle’s life.

In an effort to ‘fix’ their mistake, doctors performed a surgery to implant plastic mesh into Michelle’s abdomen. Plastic mesh that can disintegrate releasing toxic and sickening poisons -- plastic mesh that can twist, break apart and pierce internal organs -- plastic mesh that can attach itself to organs so that it can never be detached.

In this interview, Michelle tells us what happened to her in the health care system, the impact it has had on her body, her health, her family, her career, and what she is doing today to make others aware of the dangers of mesh implants.

Connect with Michelle Hedgcoth:

Twitter: @WCmeshfighter

Facebook: WestCoastMeshFighter

Instagram:  WestCoastMeshFighter


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Be my Guest

I am always looking for guests to share their medical error experiences so we help bring awareness and make patients safer.

If you are a survivor, a victim’s surviving family member, a health care worker, advocate, researcher or policy maker and you would like to share your experiences, please send me an email with a brief description: 

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Need a Counsellor?

Like me, many of my clients at Remedies Counseling have experienced the often devastating effects of medical error.

If you need a counsellor for your experience with medical error, or living with a chronic illness(es), I offer online video counseling appointments.

**For my health and life balance, I limit my number of counseling clients.** 

Email me to learn more or book an appointment:

Scott Simpson

Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete

I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard.

I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships.

Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life.

I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life.

Counseling / Research

I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here

Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions.

Patient Advocacy

I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network.

I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system.

My golden retriever Gladys is a constant source of love and joy. I hope to be well enough again one day to race triathlons again. Or even shovel the snow off the sidewalk.

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