A GRANDMOTHER says her life has been destroyed by the NHS after waiting more than a year for surgery.
Mary Smith, 60, from Maryhill, developed a bladder problem which has caused her to have severe incontinence and a lump which she was supposed to have removed 14 months ago.
She was treated when the bladder problem first started with a bulking agent, and was also implanted with mesh.
The mesh, however, was just the start of Mary’s headaches.
The lump, which the grandmother says developed after the bulking agent treatment, grew in size over the next four years.
She urged medics to remove it and after seeing a new surgeon it was agreed she would have an operation in September 2015.
She was also due to receive botox injections to help treat her incontinence, which she had previously been receiving every six months.
However, two days before the operation she was told the surgeon had now left the NHS and the health board was unable to find another specialist to treat her.
For the last 14 months, Mary said her life has been a living hell as she is unable to do anything without needing the toilet.
She cares for her two grandchildren, as well as trying to help her seriously ill husband who is suffering from pancreatic cancer.
She explained: “I went for the pre-op and then two days before the operation it was cancelled.
“I was told this surgeon had now left the NHS. I had nobody.
“I’ve been left with no botox injections and a lump inside me that I don’t know it is.
“I’ve called them up several times, they just told me I was on the waiting list.”
Mary’s incontinence problems became so extreme she had to get tinted windows fitted in her car so she could change her clothes in case she had an accident.
She said: “I am disgusted with the whole NHS system, the way I’ve been treated.
“My day to day life is terrible.
“My husband is in hospital with pancreatic cancer. I can’t go and visit him because I need the toilet constantly.
“I have to carry a lot of plastic bags and clothing around with me in my car for when I do go out.
“I have had my windows tinted in my car so I can change my clothes if I have to in the car. It’s absolutely shocking.”
After a 14 month wait, Mary has finally been given a date for her operation and to receive further botox injections, which is supposed to be going ahead on Monday.
The Maryhill woman also said she was not told she had received a mesh implant, and thought she was fitted with a sling to lift her bladder.
Thompsons solicitors is now representing Mary as she takes legal action against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the American company who make the mesh products.
A spokeswoman from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “ We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to this patient for her lengthy wait for a urology appointment.
Her surgeon left the Board in May and we tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit a replacement.
“Since then an existing member of staff has been trained in the procedure but in the meantime we have had to prioritise cancer patients and those with life-threatening conditions.
“An appointment has been made for the patient on Monday and once again we would like to apologise her for any distress caused.”