To this day, his health has been compromised due to Kugel Mesh that was used to repair the hernia.
"I had a long recovery, both in the hospital and at home," says Pauley. "Then in November 2004 I developed a hernia; my doctor said it was because of the triple aortic bypass I'd had. Surgery was set up for Thanksgiving weekend - I had the hernia repaired with Kugel Mesh. Within 30 days I felt that the mesh had torn; it felt like a bubble inside at first, then a big ball with liquid. A hole opened in my abdomen and all this fluid was draining out - I had to keep huge pads on the area - it wasn't a pretty sight.
At the end of December I went back to the doctor several times but he didn't know what to do; he just kept telling me it would heal. Not only am I dealing with this nasty medical problem but my employer decides to fire me due to "downsizing". I know it was because I had taken so much time off with this surgery. I am 60 years old --- my services are no longer needed - and I got three months severance pay, no insurance.
I can't see my doctor anymore so I went to the VA hospital. They ran a battery of tests but kept putting off dealing with the infected mesh. At the VA, they are so overworked that you can't expect anything to get done if it isn't a life or death situation. Finally in December 2006, the VA performed surgery and removed the infected mesh.
In February I managed to get another job. It hasn't been easy: the wound where the mesh was removed still hadn't healed and my bowel habits started to change. My digestive system slowly shut down and my food couldn't digest - I was throwing up. I went back to the VA but they couldn't find out what was wrong. Now I have to coax myself along with stool softeners and Ex-Lax and that's my situation now.
Just last month someone at work read about the Kugel Mesh recall on the Internet. I went back to the surgeon and found out how to obtain my medical records - I needed to know if the mesh I had was recalled. They instructed me to get the records from the hospital where the surgery was performed. It took about a month but the model on my medical report was one that was recalled. Then I called a lawyer."