IT was supposed to give Marian Kenny back her freedom - but instead it has robbed her of a decade of her life.

Marian was in her early 40s and had completed training as a mature student for her dream job - nursing.

She was looking forward to starting an exciting new chapter in her life as a community psychiatric nurse.

But first she had to get one small thing out of the way: a minor operation, so she was told, to deal with bladder issues.

Marian said: "I have three children and, while they weren't big babies, three labours had left me with stress urinary incontinence.

"It came to a head one day when I went to play badminton with friends and I had an accident - I had to tie my cardigan around my waist to cover myself up.

"And I thought, 'No, that's enough now, I am 42. Something has to be done about this.'

Read more: Shona Robison to respond to report on use of controversial mesh implant surgery

"I had thought I was going to have a procedure called a Burch colposuspension. I was told it was a tried and tested way of lifting the pelvic floor using stitches.

"My 86-year-old mum had it when she was in her 40s and has had no problems in the intervening years.

"Then it was suggested to me that there was a much better operation, well, they predicted that would be much better for me - a mesh implant.

“I thought it was all going to be wonderful.”

Marion had asked for the operation to be delayed while she finished her lifelong ambition of training to be a nurse.

Once she qualified and had secured a job as a community psychiatric nurse, Marion asked to be put back on the waiting list for surgery, which went ahead a few months later.

But Marian knew immediately after the procedure that something was wrong.

She said: “I woke up from surgery and couldn’t close my legs - they were hanging out of the bed.

“A nurse came in and said, ‘Look at the state of you.’ She had to physically lift up my legs and close them, which was very, very painful.

“I was supposed to be off for three days and then back to work but ended up being off for three weeks. It wasn't anything like what I was expecting."

Transvaginal mesh implants are inserted in the body to support muscles and are supposed to repair damaged or weakened tissue to help stop incontinence.

The procedure is used across the UK, Europe, Australia and America where class action suits have been filed at court by women who say they have been crippled by side effects.

But Marian was not aware of this and says her consultant at no point explained the procedure was permanent - or had caused terrible problems for other women.

The 57-year-old said: "For the next few years I had recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI).

Read more: Shona Robison apologises to women who have campaigned against controversial mesh implant surgery

"I must have had around 70 UTIs with the accompanying symptoms, which was really hard.

"For so long I put up with infection, after infection, after infection. I had to wonder, what was this doing to my body?

"One of my patients one day noticed how unwell I was - and it's supposed to be the other way round.

“There was always this pain in my leg and in my pelvis, so I would go to my doctor.

“They would send me for an x-ray, which didn’t show anything wrong.

“I then started to notice an area outside my knee that was completely numb, just like when you’ve had an anaesthetic at the dentist.

“The doctor thought it was very unusual but that there was nothing that could be done about it - ‘Hey ho, that’s the way it is’.

“I also had pain in my hip, which became worse and worse, and pain down below."

Slowly, Marian's world became smaller as she couldn't walk too far without help, she was having to take time off work sick and she was struggling with constant pain.

One evening she was out for dinner and picked up a newspaper to read. Inside was a story about Scottish Mesh Survivors, a support group for other women who had been through the procedure.

She had believed her problems were being caused by her mesh implant - and now she knew she wasn't alone.

Marian contacted the group, founded by campaigners and mesh survivors Elaine Holmes and Olive McIlroy, where she says she has made some incredible friends.

Thanks to their work, three out of four types of mesh implants are now suspended in Scotland pending a Scottish Government inquiry - although they are still available in England.

She said: “I have got a bunch of friends and make friends easily - I’ve always had friends. But things become hard when you're in a situation like this.

“The friendships I have made - I don’t know what I would do without these girls.

“We laugh and love each other’s company. The only, only good thing to come out of this is these girls.

"I couldn't do anything without my best friend Gill. She's my rock."

While their support is invaluable and makes all the difference to Marion, her condition is increasingly unbearable.

She added: “It is ruining my life. I feel as though I’m living in a waking nightmare.

“I walk with crutches now. I tried so hard over the past year to stay in work and do my job.

“I’m hoping to recover from the surgery and go back to work, I’m hanging everything on that."

Marian, whose sons are 35, 29 and 27, takes a drug called pregabalin, which is an anti-seizure drug for epilepsy but can also be used as pain relief.

She has stabbing pains to her legs and her lower abdomen that mean she uses crutches and finds walking very difficult.

Five years ago she managed to walk the 5k Race for Life but says that would not be possible now, adding: "Everything I do is determined by how many steps I can take."

Read more: Mesh implants review recommends better training for medical staff

She said: "I am normally very articulate and concise but one of the side effects of my medication is that I am forgetful and rambling. I can't remember anything.

“I have got a blue badge now. I’m actually disabled, yet it was supposed to be such a simple procedure.

“The neighbours would ask what’s happened to me when they see me hobbling about on crutches and I say, ‘Pelvic problems’.

“Eventually I decided not to hide it anymore and so I posted on Facebook to say, ‘I have got this thing and I am going to be talking about it and talking about it quite a lot and if you’re uncomfortable with that or you don’t want to see my posts then please unfriend me.’

“The reaction was very positive. But I never dreamed I would be talking to people about vaginas and incontinence.

"But even my four-year-old grandson knows the word - he calls it a 'bagina'."

The impact on the wider family has been incredibly hard too.

Marian, from Clydebank, said: "I have got grandchildren and a four-year-old grandson who’s just started school. I used to push him on the swings but I can't do anything like that now.

"My partner have been together decades now and he's struggling with it. He's seen someone who's active and happy and loved her job become like this.

"He's watched me and my kids have watched me deteriorate."

Remarkably, throughout everything, Marion has kept her sense of humour.

She talks about once going swimming with her "mesh friends" and says she was like a "wonky frog" in the water.

And she's splashed out on a pair of Glam Sticks walking sticks, covered with cats, which she swithered over buying until her friend pointed out she'd spend just as much on shoes - and the crutches are now her feet.

Marian's son married earlier this year so she wanted to wait until after the wedding - where she gave a reading - before having her operation.

The results of operations to remove mesh are varied but Marian has pinned all her hopes on it.

She said: “I was never told it was a permanent thing. I was never told that once this is in you, you can’t get it out.

“I’m now learning so much about it that I wish I’d known.

“To learn that removing it was not going to be straightforward was devastating. My surgeon described it as like removing chewing gum from hair.

"But everything is focused on this operation.

"I live with the hope that it's going to be a bit better."