Kiwis "give a little" to help save a life

Wednesday 8 January 2014, 7:25PM
By Kel Lee

Momentum is building with just ten days until a fundraiser with a twist takes place in three separate locations around  the country.  Garage sales are being held in Hamilton, Napier, and New Plymouth on Saturday, January 18, to help 61 year old Jacqui Scott get to the US for the surgery she so desperately needs. Donations of sellable items are greatfully accepted in these three areas. Those on Facebook can get involved: by joining the event, inviting friends, or even consider hosting a garage sale yourself? Also any fundraising ideas are warmly welcomed!


The following is  reproduced with permission from the "Save Jacqui Scott" facebook page.


This is my story that someone edited for me but when she did that she rewrote it in the third person

 Jacqui Scott is originally from the UK, but has been a New Zealand Citizen quite some time, having lived here for 43 years. She enjoyed an active life and worked as a caregiver for elderly people until seven years ago. Tragically, in what should have been the safety of her home, she was raped in 2005.

This violent assault caused severe damage to her bowel, bladder and vagina. Her gynaecologist diagnosed her with a rectocele and cystocoele and recommended surgical repair. A rectocele is caused by a tear in the rectovaginal septum (a tough, fibrous, sheet-like divider between the rectum and vagina), allowing rectal tissue to bulge through this tear and into the vagina as a hernia. A cystocele allows the bladder to bulge into the vagina.

When her surgery was scheduled, she was not told that mesh would be used would be used to support her bladder and rectum,and vaginal wall or the potential for complications from these medical devises was never explained. Like the majority of women, she trusted her physicians when she was most vulnerable.

Immediately after the nine-hour surgery, Jacqui was informed she had picked up a staf. infection, so wouldn't have sexual intercourse again because her vagina had been shortened. This, of course, was unexpected, devastating news. One year after the surgery, Jacqui was still having disabling pain in her abdomen, back and legs. Her urine leaked and her bowels did not function normally.

Jacqui underwent a total of three exploratory surgeries after the initial mesh implants, but was told that nothing abnormal could be found even though she was experiencing severe pain, incontinence and erosion of the mesh into her vagina. This made her feel as if she might be losing her mind. She tried everything but was unable to obtain a medical explanation or help in New Zealand.

After extensive online research, she found an article about dangerous health problems caused by erosion and shrinkage of these transvaginal mesh implants. So she requested a full copy of her medical records and discovered the names of her two mesh implants: the Gynecare Prolift Total Pelvic Floor Repair System + the Tyco IVS Tunneler.

More researched uncovered that both of these mesh implants are on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) list of medical devices that have caused adverse events along with a warning of the many severe complications associated with transvaginal mesh implants.

She also discovered that the same Gynecare Prolift Total Pelvic Floor Repair System mesh implant was named in a lawsuit against its manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson. A jury had awarded the plaintiff $1.1 million USD because of the severity of her injuries from the device and the company’s failure to warn about the potential for serious complications from the implant.

Jacqui knows first-hand about these serious complications. In addition to extreme pain from pudendal nerve damage, her mobility is limited, her immune system is compromised, she gets shingles, she has lost her teeth, her hair is falling out and she suffers from severe depression.

There are very few surgeons with the required expertise to remove transvaginal mesh implants. Dr. Schlomo Raz, an urogynaecologist at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, is among the few and recognized as a world-class expert. Women travel from around the world to obtain his medical care. Dr. Raz has described the growing number of women suffering from mesh implant complications as an “epidemic.”

Jacqui doesn’t have the funds to travel to the U.S. and obtain the surgery she needs to save her life. New Zealand’s health care system will not cover it either. So she is appealing for your help. She must raise $200,000  to cover the surgery and travel expenses. Her surgery with Dr. Raz is scheduled for early March 2014. Please consider donating whatever amount you can afford. Your generosity will save her life


A fundraising account has raised over $48 775.00 to date, thanks to the kindness of the public. However, with the sceduled date for surgery drawing closer, the sense of urgency increases.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so here: