Hello, my angel, I hope this note finds you well and inspired. There of been a lot more investigations in Toronto and the United States, regarding Medtronic medical devices that are doing more harm than good and sometimes killing people. See links at bottom of the page.
I was one of those guinea pigs then had two Medtronic devices in my body to help with nerve damage the result of misdiagnosis in 1985. My story below is what I sent to the investigators and the reporters as well as the Minister of health.
It’s time I broke my silence and showed proof that I have regarding consequences I suffered after having these devices put in my body and forgotten For seven years when the malfunctioned. I pray to God that this does not happen to anyone else and that my story will make a difference in getting these issues taken more seriously. It’s a long story but it may save your life.reading it or somebody else’s that you love
1985 – 2015 MY WALK-THROUGH MEDICAL MADNESS – MEDTRONIC SPINAL COLUMN STIMULATOR’S FAULTY
There have been a lot of investigations lately regarding Medtronic medical devices malfunctioning. My website has my story www.gigglespoet.com. Awareness and inspiration.
In 1985, at the age of 22, I had a work-related accident, I broke a rib in my upper back and it was misdiagnosed as “rhomboid muscle strain” The doctor only did a regular X-ray which only showed a “hot-spot” as they called it. And it was then that I went into the corrupt Worker’s Compensation system and the abuse and my walk-through medical madness began.
I knew that there was more wrong than muscle problems, yet nobody believed me. I was hysterical with pain and Worker’s Compensation labelled me and wrote me up as having PSTD and low back pain, among other things. The first few months of being in the system I forced to go to their Rehab center, which was later closed because of abuse drugs and prostitution issues.
Despite the severity of my pain, I had to travel by bus for 40 minutes to the rehab five days a week from 9-5 pm. I was forced to do a program of ultrasound, lifting weights and swimming which only made the pain worse causing me to collapse to the floor in pain, and they wrote me up as being uncooperative and bringing attention to myself.
Lifting weights and swimming caused my back to go into severe spasms making it hard to breathe. Many times, after rehab I had to go to a doctor to have needles in my neck back and chest to stop the spasms and pain to help me breathe better.
Despite my telling Worker’s Compensation doctor at the clinic that I was getting worse they didn’t care and didn’t believe that I had anything physically wrong and suggested I go to see a psychiatrist. This lasted for several months and if I refuse to go, they would cut off my benefits, which they did many times.
From the reports I read in my medical file from Worker’s Compensation, they believed that I was not in any physical pain and that I was holding out for a disability pension.
These reports continued until 2008 saying “I cause problems for the adjudicators and that I was suffering from low back problems “. WSIB never really knew the extent of my injuries.
In 1985 saw a total of 18 specialists the first year and I was prostituted through pain clinics. I was given anti-psychotic medications because they thought this was in my head.
God made me a great writer in 1985 and I kept detailed notes of everything that I was going through and every doctor I saw including prescription that I had been given. God made me a poet and for every loss, a poem was written. Writing poetry became my lifeline and saved me from losing my mind.
I had a CT scan done December 1985 eight months after my injury. The CT scan showed a badly fractured rib in the T4 area of my upper back. I was relieved that I finally had proof of a physical injury, but that did not seem to matter, and nobody did anything, but send me to pain clinics and I was put through painful nerve blocks among other modalities to try and stop the pain.
In December 1985, I had to admit myself into the hospital I was having breathing problems. I had been seeing a Nero surgeon there and he finally came into see me a week later
I showed him the CT scan and he sort of brushed it aside saying that he would do his own treatments. Despite the pain I was in as he examined me, he didn’t care, and he did nothing. He started me on nerve blocks which were so painful, and they seemed to make things worse.
While I was in the hospital, I was put through painful Spinal tap, tomogram and a body scan which only showed a hotspot in my upper back which doctors assumed was a tumour and I was told to come back in six months to see what developed.
I wasn’t getting anything more than Tylenol three to deal with the pain, which didn’t help, the pain was unbearable, breathing hurt to the point that I had to contact a doctor that I had been seeing and I had to leave the hospital to get a prescription of stronger pain medication. He gave me a prescription of Demerol to help me and I went back to the hospital.
Several weeks later, I found out I was pregnant 14 weeks, and unfortunately, I was told that I could not have the pregnancy continue because of the medications and radiation and I had to have an abortion. This sent me into such a state of depression all I wanted to do was die.
My husband tried to talk to the doctor to get some answers as to what was going on, and he seems to be avoiding us. The painful nerve blocks weren’t doing anything but causing more pain and further depression. All the nerve blocks did be freeze the muscles in the area around the broken rib and the freezing wore off hours later.
Eventually, I signed myself out of the hospital because I couldn’t take the pain or the painful nerve blocks anymore. I was a walking zombie, in a deep depression. I had to return a couple of weeks later to have my child taken it out of my body and that was the worst day of my life. But nobody seems to care
Despite the pain and depression, I had to still find help to get this rib out of my body. I was in such a state that I could barely talk. I ended up writing a letter which I gave to doctors that I saw. The letter explained everything I was going through since my accident and I pleaded with them to help me, to take this rib out of my body. In my letter, I told them that I was overdosing on Sominex doing 50mg up to 10 a day, on top of the other medications, in order to keep the pain down to a level that was bearable. But my letter didn’t seem to matter. They said the rib would heal on its own…despite it being almost a year.
Sometimes I had to call poison control because I had done so much medication that I was afraid to close my eyes in case I died. I explained to them it wasn’t my intention to kill myself but to manage the pain until I could find somebody to help me.
A doctor I was working with got me an appointment with a colleague of his. I saw him in March and I gave him the same letter to read, I couldn’t speak without crying. He read the letter respectfully in front of me. The letter also said f he sent me away I would go home and put myself to sleep permanently because I could not deal with this pain.
He examined me, and it only took a few seconds to realize that I was in trouble and this broken rib was not going to heal.
March 4, 1986, almost a year later I had my 1st operation to have the broken rib removed. Because it had been left in my body for so long it had done internal damage causing nerve damage. Callus had formed around the rib trapping nerves which had to be removed.
It wasn’t long after I left the hospital that Worker’s Compensation started harassing me about returning to work, they received the operational report but there was no mention of nerve damage.
After the operation, I was dealing with a different kind of pain as I was dealing with burning and spasms from the nerve damage nobody recognized I started working with a neurologist Send me to behavioural modification Sent me to behavioural modification for my behaviour and deal with the pain better.
The operational report was not clear enough about me returning to work, and within a few months Worker’s Compensation assumed I was able to work and cut off my benefits and I had to find a job despite the severe pain, I had to pay rent and keep a roof over my head.
I contacted a lawyer to help get me reinstated. I tried working as long as I could, but the pain, burning and spasms were too much to bear. I contacted the surgeon and he sent a letter to WSIB telling them I couldn’t work. And I was sent to a Neurosurgeon. I went through more pain clinics and eventually went through behavioural modification to try to deal with my pain better.
After I finished Behavioural Modification, I went back to see the neurologist. He suggested trying a medical device. He said that it helped with nerve pain.
At this point, I was ready to try anything to help with the pain and burning. I wasn’t told anything more
n 1991, I had my second operation to have a Pieces II implanted in my upper body. I was semi-conscious during the operation because the machine had to be tested. When it was tested, I was put to sleep to finish the operation.
When I woke up and freaked out to see wires hanging out of my back. I was told that it was only temporary as they wanted to see if I got good results.
The device worked, and it took away the burning and pain. I had my third operation to put the wires in my back and the surgeon programmed the device, locked it into place and I went home.
I had 750 amps of electricity run through my body 24/7. I needed 8-volt batteries which ran out in 4 hours. Medtronic said that the device was running quite high and I eventually had industrial batteries which lasted longer.
These devices were a miracle, the electricity reduced my pain and I was able to return to the workforce. I couldn’t return to my old job and had to be retrained for another career. I still encountered difficulties trying to get use the force of electricity going through my body which drained me.
In 1992, I started a new job. I tried to forget the nightmare I went through and tried to rebuild my life. For almost seven years I lived a pain-free life. Workers Compensation checked up on me once and after that, I was left alone. When I had problems and needed more pain control, I contacted Medtronic and they would walk me through changing the settings.
In 1998 while at work, I was leaning up against my co-worker’s desk when I felt a jolt of electricity go through me with such force that it paralyzed me. I couldn’t cry out, as my body contorted and my heart hurt, I thought I was going to die. Eventually, my co-worker noticed something wrong and unplugged the device, my body collapsed to the floor and I had to leave work.
I saw my doctor and contacted the surgeon whom I had not seen since the operation. He assumed the wires slipped and said he would operate to replace the device.
When I was electrocuted, I had to go back onto the worker’s compensation system, they called this a re-occurrence of my injury. I was not electrocuted, in 1985 I had a broken rib. I was reinstated to WSIB and put back on my 1985 salary of $6 hr…despite making $10.00 hr with this job.
I had my 4th operation May 1998. I was implanted with a Quad X-Trail. I thought I would return to work within a few months, but unfortunately, the operation wasn’t done correctly. I went back to the surgeon who did the first implant and he wasn’t sure what happens said the wire might have slipped.
He set up a surgery date and I had my surgery in May 1998. When the surgeon first walked into the OR he looked at me and asked me which leg we are operating on today. Being sedated I sort of laughed it off but bells ringing in my head. During the operation, I wasn’t frozen enough and I started screaming and crying in pain. I could feel what he was doing in my back. I was crying, and this upset the surgeon he was telling me to calm down eventually the anesthesiologist put me out.
I was supposed to be semi-conscious when this machine was put in my body, as they did in 1991, to test the device to make sure it was stimulating in the right place. unfortunately, it wasn’t tested in the operating room before being sewed up.
I went home and a week later when I turn the device on, I felt the electricity running down the lower parts of my body, down my legs and when I turned it up higher to try and control the pain in my back, I lost the use of my legs.
When I tried walking, I would fall. I contacted my doctor and I contacted the surgeon. I was quite upset and left messages for him that I needed to see him.
I went to see him, but his demeanour was changed. He sat across the room from me and he seemed upset that I had caused such a ruckus. I told him what was happening, that I couldn’t walk without falling.
He tried adjusting the machine and asked me to walk and saw that my legs were jiggling, and I was falling. He sat across the room from me and said there was nothing more he could do that I would have to live with pain or paralysis and that is what he said in the letter to my doctor.
He didn’t do an x-ray or anything else except get up and leave the room. I was shocked and in tears that he expected me to live like this. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I felt like I was in a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from.
Because of him not helping me I had to find another surgeon. My doctor found me another surgeon who did an x-ray and realize that the wires were not in the right place as per the 1991 x-ray that was done.
He said that the wires would need to be readjusted but he said he would not be able to do it because the surgeon was a colleague of his and he didn’t want to step on any toes. He told me to go back to the surgeon to get the wires fixed. But by this time the relationship was damaged between us and I did not trust him, so I had to find another surgeon.
I spend the summer feeling like a prisoner in my house because I couldn’t get out anywhere, I couldn’t walk properly. My doctor tried to get me into physiotherapy and we were fighting with Worker’s Compensation to get taxis. My adjudicator denied the request several times and asked me to measure the distance between my apartment to the bus stop because he didn’t think I had anything seriously physically wrong and he said he didn’t care. I fell down the stairs one day and hit my head causing a concussion.
My doctor contacted Medtronic in the U.S. and was told this device should have been monitored. She eventually got a rep from Medtronic to try and help. A rep came out to her office and we spent hours trying to adjust the device, but nothing worked. This was causing my doctor so much stress, she wanted to refer me to another doctor. I wrote her a letter pleading with her to stay with me.
She continued as my doctor and I was invited to her office on a Saturday. It was then that I was introduced to her husband who was familiar with medical deuces. And he confirmed that there was a hardware malfunction.
In 1999, my doctor found a new surgeon in Mississauga and I went to see him in he examined me and did an x-ray comparing both X-rays he that he would operate and reposition the wires. He said he would contact me with a surgical date he would have to get permission from WSIB
Days turned into months and months turn into years and the surgeon had not contacted me or my doctor my doctor send him letters faxes and tried calling and they were all ignored I tried calling him and left him any messages pleading with him to help me because I was in so much pain and depression is getting the better of me eventually my daughters husband took it upon himself to go to the surgeons office. Not leaving until he got an operation date.
In 2000, I got a call from work saying that they were letting me go because I have been off for so long. I was heartbroken and that only adds to my depression because I thought that I would be back to work within a couple of months, but this medical madness had gotten worse.
After each electrocution, it took sometimes years to find medical help…..and when I did, I was abused by the medical system and Workers Compensation, only because I didn’t look the part, they wanted to see a person in pain in….
Had it not been for my co-workers on both occasions unplugging the device, it would have killed me. I was paralyzed and couldn’t even cry out as the electricity kept going higher, my heart hurt, and I thought I was going to die.
I was ignored when I went to the hospital in 2009 with electricity running through my head, I waited for eight hours and all the doctor did was tell me to go to another town, or to the US to get help. I wasn’t examined, and he gave me five muscle relaxants and that was it. I spent the night with ice on my head and pain that was unbearable.
The next day I wrote my story and sent it to Peter Silverman, a reporter for City TV at the time. God was watching over me for sure because within a few hours, I got a call from him and he called this a horror story and gave me the name of a neurologist as well as a Lawyer. I couldn’t believe that out of all the emails this man must get, that he saw mine so quickly.
Nobody investigated these incidents, and this was swept under the rug by Medtronic and the Workers Compensation Board. WSIB bought both devices without knowing why and without even talking to me. And they stopped asking for doctor’s reports which might have saved me from going through what I did.
I was never notified about the device needing to be monitored, nor was I notified when the device was obsolete or needed to be replaced.
All the while I was dealing with a Medtronic CSR who would help me reprogram the machine when I needed, she never once warned me about these devices being removed/replaced.
I had my Fifth operation in 2002 The surgeon came in and held my hand saying that he would help me, and I had nothing to worry about.
Unfortunately, the machine was not tested while I was in the operating room and once again when I turned the machine on the electricity was running down the lower part of my body it would go no higher than my abdomen. I screamed from the stress so upset I had to be sedated and the doctor came in saying that he would fix this and set a surgical date for two weeks. So, I left the hospital until my surgery date.
Two weeks later I went back to the hospital to have my 6th operation my body was mangled, and I was walking in a fog of depression. The machine was tested in the OR and when I turned it on it was working in the right place. I was so grateful despite all I had to go through
My last electrocution was in 2008 while working for the Federal MP, Tom Wappel…I was sitting at my desk talking to my co-worker when I moved my arm and felt a jolt of electricity run through my body paralyzing me once again.
It took awhile for my co-worker to notice something was wrong, she thought I was having a seizure…. all I could hear was her screaming not knowing what to do. Eventually, she unplugged the device and my body collapsed.
My body has been so traumatized since this began in 1985, I no longer reacted. When I regained my senses, I got up and called Workers Comp and Medtronic. Medtronic rep told me that this device was obsolete in 2003 and should have been removed. I was told to find a surgeon and have the device removed/replaced. They sent me out a loner and I was too afraid to turn it on.
I couldn’t find anyone to remove the device because they weren’t familiar with the device being in the thoracic area.
I saw a few surgeons between 2008-2009 but they couldn’t do anything they were not familiar with this device being on the thoracic spine and they didn’t want or didn’t feel comfortable doing the operation I was told to call my previous surgeon, But he had retired shortly after my operation.
I did contact the previous surgeon and found out that he was semi-retired so I went to see him, and he said that he would operate and told me he would contact WSIB. And the same thing happened like in 2000, he forgot about me and did not respond to my phone calls or letters. So, I contacted the college of physicians and surgeons and asked them to investigate this whole case. I was sent a letter telling me that they couldn’t force the surgeon to do anything, but they would send him a letter.
I had been in contact with the WSIB be throughout this and I was told that they had not heard from the surgeon. He eventually called me saying that he sent to Worker’s Compensation to approve the operation but had not heard from them.
He apologizes for not answering my letters or calls and agreed to do the operation. And he asked me to stop the investigation with the College of physicians and surgeons. Which I did because I needed to have a machine removed and I was afraid he would not do it.
They also investigated surgeon who had done the botched operation into008. And his letter to them said he was not aware of the problems that I had told them about. Which was a lie because I have a letter stating what he did and said. But the college of the oceans and surgeons really did nothing except send them a letter.
I did find a letter in my Worker’s Compensation file he had sent them, but they had not responded. Yet they told me that they had not heard anything from him.
The 7th Operation was in 2010, unfortunately, the surgeon could only remove the transmitter and a small wire……the machine had grown into my spine and couldn’t be removed, and the wires were covered in so much scar tissue, they couldn’t be removed. So, I am left with a device on my spine and I don’t’ know what the consequences will be in the future. I cannot work, due to the pain and medications.
I went back for a check up and the surgeon sent me to have an MRI. The day I went for the MRI, was another wake-up call. The technician came out and spoke to me and said: “you can’t have an MRI because of the device in your body.” She said that the MRI would pull the device from my body…….
I was stunned. The surgeon should have known that this would have happened!! What if the technician didn’t notice I wrote down on the form that I had a stimulator in my body, or what if I forgot to mention it. All I can say was that fear went through me as hard as the electricity that I had to deal with.
I contacted the Administrator of the hospital. But, got a sorry…..he was semi-retired, ready to retire, what could they do?
I have never been compensated for the 7 operations that caused further injuries and the Workers Compensation Board crucified me for 35 years, saying in reports that I had low-back problems and caused problems with the adjudicators. I was fighting for my life and wouldn’t let these people throw me to the wolves…. cut off my benefits or ignore my voice.
Worker’s Compensation barely knows what is wrong with me and they don’t care by their reports I was finally put on permanent disability in 2015 And my supplement was reduced. Despite me making more money at both new jobs I was still being paid six dollars an hour from my 1985 job.
get a disability award they call it of $500 a month which is a tragedy considering what my body and mind have gone through in the scars and patched operations that I had to go through and having these machines almost kill me.
We are being used as guinea pigs and we are maimed further by ignorance. I know one day God will see restitution, but I will never stop fighting for my rights I’ve been fighting for justice for 35 years……it’s time the truth be told.
If we have a problem with our automobile, we get better attention and care from the people assigned to our case. Worker’s Compensation literally sends people into poverty we are injured further by their ignorance. Because I would not fit in their box they crucified me for being injured trying to make it seem like it was all in my head we are labelled and sent into a whole new different concentration camp.
I know God keeps me alive for a reason. Sometimes I don’t know that reason and wonder if death would be easier. To know I survived an abusive childhood, not knowing a foundation long enough to call it home….from one foster home to another…..and when I left at seventeen, I left without taking anything with me……
I came to Toronto in 1979 and made a great life for myself, lots of friends, a home, started school, had dreams……a place that was safe and people who loved me I was free from chaos or destruction.
To have all that taken away and have to spend the rest of my life maimed by ignorance, being abused by the medical system and the Workers Compensation system. to only know 6 years of freedom.
I fought for my life…..not this life. And because I stood up to them, or went above their heads, my life turned into a nightmare. No apologies for the loss of 2 children that I could have by my side now….and never given time to mourn, until I was editing my book, “GIVE ME A SECOND,” that was published in August and had to read over my life story, told through poems that God helped me write. I’m so thankful that I have my writing because I would have given in…..and I wouldn’t be on this earth.
Sad to say that such evil exists in human beings, and I sat with the devil all my life it seems…….there is nothing wrong with my mind, now or then, to say that I was causing myself pain…..If my mind could survive my childhood, it certainly wouldn’t be turning against me and causing pain.
I met with the President and Vice President of the WSIB many times, asking them to investigate my file because of the convoluted mess that was inside and nothing came of it. I was asked to do a video so the WSIB could understand the problems we go through, I went through, he said that it would sensitize their workers. OMG….if anyone needs to be sensitized, they shouldn’t be in the position of helping injured people.
I watched the video, (and I’ll put it online) but it broke my heart to hear myself tell this nightmare to the same people that caused it.
WSIB paid thousands of dollars for these devices to be put in our bodies, yet they know nothing about the device, nor did they have any information about these devices in my medical file. They never contacted me before or after the operations, and they stopped asking for medical reports once I went back to the workforce. To know this is scary.
We are the only ones that can protect our children and theirs……for the Government to turn a blind eye for so long according to reports that have been in the news lately…….and the FDA…
I sent reports to the FDA, called them, as well as the Human Rights Commissioner Barbara Hall and the Labour Minister, I spoke with several MP’s, got the “oh I’m so sorry” speel…….and my file or notes probably went into a file and that’s it….
Nobody did anything…..I had to fight for my life, so once I contacted anyone, I didn’t have time to sit and follow up with them….they should have contacted me…….God made me a writer and I wrote everything down…..so, I can go back one day and ask them WHY?
I recently saw a lawyer who said that I needed to look like I was in pain…that I should look dishevelled if I wanted to go after WSIB for compensation. To hear that made me cry……a tear slid down my face and I got up and left the office. OMG….is that what it comes down to?
Unfortunately yes, because when I investigated my WSIB medical file, I saw reports that said, “She didn’t look in pain,” or look uncomfortable enough for them to believe I had anything wrong. I had one doctor say, “you can’t be in too much pain if you’re smiling!!” it still makes my heart hurt.
I’m usually silent and that got me nowhere…I don’t like to make a ruckus…but reading the newspapers and hearing people are being killed, or paralyzed by these devices…..and doctors are using them carelessly, without informing the patient of the full consequences……
The INBETWEEN’S, what a person doesn’t say makes a difference. And there is so much more that I haven’t said about WSIB’s LMR return to work training schools. That is another horror story.
WE MATTER AND WE ARE NOT LABELS, BUT HUMAN BEINGS.
I returned the cross that I had to bear in 2015 when I had my last meeting with WSIB. I finally got them to recognize me as being permanently injured and was put on “permanent disability.” The same manager who wrote in reports that “I had low back problems, and caused problems for my adjudicators” was now the Director. And I met him eye to eye to tell him how he ruined my life. All he did was hang his head….
I had a lawyer with me from the Injured Workers Consultants Group, but since I’ve been handling this case for 35 years, he was there as a sounding board. I had the floor and I laid and their dirt out for them.
I made them a promise that one day I’d be back to take them down. That I would be rich enough to shut their doors and open a place that would help people respectfully and not put them in poverty.
We pay into this system from the day we are working……so, we are the ones who should decide on how things are run, not following some hundred-year-old policy. The lawyer said that there wasn’t enough money for them to compensate me for the damages done to my body, mind and life over the last 35 years.
They had a scale for assessing someone’s injuries…and that is how we are deemed. I get a $500 disability!!! monthly…that’s a crime. And when they put me on permanent disability, my income was reduced by $200.
I wish I was a lawyer, I’d take them to court and have this case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. There are so many human rights violations and it was all swept under their rugs.
The poems in my book tell a story in a way that shows growth, not regret. Not bitterness, but new perceptions……I won’t let them take that from me. And I’ve written many poems for them over the years, sending poetry along with my report on what was happening at the time.
All I can say is God have mercy on their soul……
Thank you for reading my story
JUSTICE FOR INJURED WORKERS
647 298 3587
At this point, I have nothing to lose, but God kept me here to protect his angels, and I won’t let this go. Today, I am a Counsellor, Empowerment Coach, Mentor and Advocate., helping God’s angels with life challenges. Since I’ve been a prisoner in my home more than I’ve been in society, I made it my sanctuary. I learn every day and write poetry on what I learn. . I am now working on my second book of poetry and it is far different than my first. So, I’m here if you need help.
My mission and passion are showing God’s angels how beautiful and unique they are and how powerful the mind is. I have amassed a library of training and self-development that I share with my clients. Everyone should have the opportunity to get to know the real person they are…not what society dictates.
You can recreate your life and create your life by design. Show the world your uniqueness…..and STEP INTO YOUR GREATNESS.
Nothing like this will happen again, not on my watch. Next week I’m going to the Star to speak with a reporter and I’ll keep going until we are noticed, and our stories are known and something is done.
God bless, my angels, thank you for coming into my world. We’re in it together….
INSPIRATION IS OUR NAME
www.gigglespoet.com. Awareness and inspiration. Sign up and help me fight this war the more voices that we have the more we can change the systems. These scars are my armour, but this should never happen to a human being God will take care of restitution this is the result of 7 operations. The disc you see was put in my abdomen, that was the transmitter that went haywire, it looks corrosive…..and I wonder what the machine on my spine looks like and if that too gets corrosive.
The other box that looks like a transistor radio, was programmed and locked into place and had a cover….and to this day Medtronic hasn’t told me how it could override the program, sending such electricity through my body that paralyzed me instantly……..OMG to think that one investigation spoke of a man who was paralyzed by his device……I thank the good Lord for looking out for me.
LINKS to Investigative reports on Medtronic Medical Devices
Knowledge is power and I’ve learned many lessons…..