"I had the surgery in September 2006," said Terry. "I had a weak spot, probably where I had three C-sections ( I have eight kids) and this is where the hernia started. It started as a little bubble, the size of a pea, but over the years it got bigger.
One night I was at home watching TV and felt nauseous. My stomach was swollen and I felt a big lump. It was so late at night that I didn't do anything about it but the next morning I couldn't get out of bed. In retrospect I should have gone to ER right then and there. Instead I went to my family doctor and he thought I just had cellulitis - my belly was now red and inflamed. He gave me antibiotics but it just got worse.
October 4th: I was in agony and was admitted to hospital.
October. 5th: I had hernia surgery and was told that kugel mesh was used to help repair the soft tissue and ease recovery time.
October 8th: I was sent home but didn't feel much better.
November 3rd: Saw my regular doctor - my entire left side was hard and I was in a lot of pain -- worse than before I had surgery -- and I had a fever. He prescribed painkillers, more antibiotics and made an appointment for a CAT Scan.
November 4th: Had the CAT Scan and blood tests and it was determined that the mesh used in my surgery was loose and attached to my intestines, and stool was backed up, emptying behind the mesh.
I was rushed to the Cleveland Clinic. The first time I saw the surgeon he said, 'Did you come prepared to stay?' I was so scared I couldn't think straight. The surgeon told me the mesh had become loose and was infected - a 12 inch piece of Kugel Mesh had caused fistulas or holes in my intestine and colon which in turn had pockets of infected fluid.
I was in the Cleveland Clinic for 10 days then in rehab for three weeks, trying to get my strength back and walking again. A bag was inserted into my abdomen to drain the infection and a home nurse came every few days to change the bag.
I was one sick girl for about three months. I have never been sick before besides the flu I picked up from my kids, until this happened.
My family was really scared. At the time, I had no idea that Kugel Mesh was the cause of my illness and this awful infection that turned out to be septic -- a life-threatening situation. I thank God I am alive and made it through all this. My stomach still hurts but I am on the mend. It just shows you how fast something can happen - healthy one day and on your death bed the next. I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else."