Di’s Anguish – another Smith & Nephew victim

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I am 63, yrs of age. In 2003, (at age 52), I underwent hip replacement surgery on my right hip, using a Smith & Nephew Birmingham metal/metal resurfacing system.

I started having problems with my hip in 2008, and after suffering excruciating lower back pain (for which my then GP suggested that I needed back surgery, for a crushed vertebrae(?),  fortunately, I didn’t have surgery). In 2010,  I was finally diagnosed by a Bendigo Ortho. Surgeon.  He told me that my hip had “failed”, and that I would need revision surgery. As at the time I didn’t have top medical cover, I had to wait 12 months before this could be undertaken.  From 2008 until revision surgery in 2011, I  had many,many doctors visits, every pain relief  remedy available, including spinal injections, all to no avail.

I had blood tests for cobalt/chromium levels, and had extremely high toxicity levels.

My health has deteriorated very badly, and I have recently  been diagnosed with Emphysema (passive). I have been married for 46 yrs, and neither my husband or myself have ever smoked, the only other way to contract this lung disease, (so, I believe),  is through exposure to Asbestos, Lead or other forms (cobalt?) of toxicity/poisoning.

I have a very special, knowledgeable Pharmacist, who I regularly talk this through with, and he tells me that “Cobalt” poisoning is in the same category as Arsenic/Lead. Having had the metal/metal hip in my body for 8 years, I wonder what other medical nightmares I may face in the future?

I had a successful business which I was forced to sell 3 years ago, as I no longer had the ability to run it. I am now on an Invalid Pension.

Up until April of this year, I had a firm of Sydney Solicitors and a Barrister handling a Medical Negligence claim for me (along with other Smith & Nephew recipients), but it proved to be too difficult, and they could no longer represent me, or the others.

There are currently no Lawyer/Solicitor firms in Australia handling  lawsuits for the Smith & Nephew recipients, although class action lawsuits are starting in both England and America at this time.

I would like to hear from any other Smith & Nephew recipients, so that we can compare notes, I am sure that there are many here in Australia.
I feel that I/we have been left to fend for ourselves, unlike the Johnson & Johnson recipients who I believe, have had revision surgery under supervision.
From all that I have read on the internet ( and I have spent hundreds of hours doing so), I believe that we too should be having some form of post-op care/supervision. I might add that it took over 12 months for my Emphysema to be diagnosed, having had many different tests and X-Rays etc.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about this..it is a big burden to carry.
Di Harvey

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