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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

No compensation for implant misery

MILLOM mum Sandra Shaw has conceded there is now little hope she will ever get justice over the faulty breast implants that made her life a misery.

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BATTLE: Eleven months after the Evening Mail first spoke to Sandra Shaw, 36, of Robinson Row, Millom, she says that while her health had improved since her PIP implants’ removal, the financial toll from the ordeal was ongoing HOWARD SHIMMIN REF: 50028685B000

The Evening Mail first spoke to Miss Shaw in January at the height of the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) scandal that affected tens of thousands of women worldwide.

Now, 11 months on from that interview, the 36-year-old has just received the devastating news that she is unlikely to ever be compensated for her pain and suffering.

In 2005, Miss Shaw underwent a £5,000 operation to enlarge her breasts from 32A to 32D using silicon implants manufactured by the non-defunct French company.

But two years later she developed health problems and needed multiple surgeries to remove lymph nodes and a lump from around her breasts.

The symptoms persisted however and in March 2010 she was devastated to learn the implants were made of industrial-grade silicon – not medical-grade – and were to be recalled.

“When I found out they had been recalled, I was horrified,” she told the Evening Mail earlier this year.

“I had all the signs and symptoms of rupturing. This is the human body we’re talking about. It’s disgusting.”

Miss Shaw, who runs Liquid Hair Studio in Millom, paid another £5,000 to have the toxic implants taken out.

Speaking to the Evening Mail again this month, Miss Shaw said that while her health had improved since the implants’ removal, the financial toll from the ordeal was ongoing.

She engaged lawyers to pursue a claim against Harley Medical Group – the clinic that inserted the implants in her and thousands of other UK women – for failing in its duty of care.

However, last month Harley Medical Group went into voluntary administration in a move critics claim was a bid to avoid a multi-million-pound payout to victims.

“They just announced last week that none of us are getting a payout because they’ve gone into administration,” Miss Shaw said.

“We got a letter from the solicitors saying we won’t get any money and we won’t get any compensation.”

The news is a bitter blow for Miss Shaw as she had to re-mortgage her house to pay for the operation to remove the defective implants.

“For both operations it was about £10,000 and that’s not including the time off work when I was sick, so it’s set me back quite a bit,” she said.

“The solicitors have said to us that it’s very unlikely there’s going to be any money left in the pot to pay any compensation.”

Miss Shaw, who has two daughters Natasha, 19, and Joanne, four, said she did not believe justice had been done.

“I’m very upset because Harley is still trading and the government has done nothing to help us get compensation,” she said.

“I think there was a couple of doctors wrote to the government with concerns about these implants and the government just ignored it.”

Miss Shaw also had some clear advice to help any woman considering implants to avoid the problems that beset her.

“Make sure you do your own research on what types of implants, the size, the shape and the clinic where it will be done – all of it,” she said.

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