Woman whose Alberta cancer surgery was delayed says she’s worse now | The Canadian News

A woman whose surgery in Alberta for face cancer was delayed because hospitals were overloaded with COVID-19 says the consequences for her have been drastic.

Sharon Durham of Wynyard, Sask., Says she would not have lost her entire nose if the surgery had been done earlier. You will have to wear a prosthesis for the rest of your life.

“I could have used part of my old nose and had plastic surgery,” Durham, 54, told The Canadian Press.

“He probably could have moved on.”

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In late September, Alberta canceled non-essential surgeries due to the crippling fourth wave of COVID-19. Durham was one of 15,000 people whose operation was delayed.

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“The postponements during the fourth wave were extended to all surgeries outside the province in which the need for postoperative care in the ICU was anticipated. This helped ensure that (Alberta) had adequate ICU capacity, even when demand was extremely high, ”said Kerry Williamson, spokesperson for Alberta Health Services.

Williamson said there were already limits on who would receive medical care during the first wave in March 2020.

“These limitations were for non-urgent cases and non-urgent outpatient care for patients outside the province.”

Williamson said the healthcare provider is very sorry for the anxiety and concern the delays have caused patients.

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In April 2020, Durham underwent 23-hour surgery in Alberta to remove cancer in his nose and under his left eye. A surgeon rebuilt the nose of the former dental hygienist with the help of a screw. After that, he had two more surgeries in the province.

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He said he began trying to arrange a biopsy with his surgeon last May because his nose appeared swollen. Her doctor in Saskatchewan told her she needed the screw removed.

The doctor cleaned her nose regularly, but said only the surgeon who operated on her could help.

Durham said he twice tried to book a biopsy, but was told Alberta was not accepting patients from outside the province due to COVID-19.

“He was scared. It’s an aggressive cancer. It just devours everything in its path,” Durham said, adding that his surgeon did everything possible to defend his case.

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In July, when she finally got an appointment in Edmonton, the doctor looked at her and told her that he believed the cancer had returned. His surgery was scheduled for September and then rescheduled for early October.

This week, she had a follow-up appointment in Edmonton. Doctors told him they were satisfied with the results.

“I am also very happy, but I am still afraid,” she said.

The cancer in his face has returned three times, and Durham fears that the delays between his appointments will cause it to happen again.

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“Now I am waiting (for) a prosthetic nose that is only temporary for now. We will have to go in and do another surgery in which (the surgeon) places implants in my forehead, to which the final prosthetic nose will adhere. “

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‘You really feel like life is on hold’: Calgary young man with postponed brain surgery finally undergoes surgery

‘You really feel like life is on hold’: Calgary young man with postponed brain surgery finally undergoes surgery

Again, due to the pandemic, that is not expected to happen until February, he said.

“I just want this cancer to go away. Whether you go back to working as a dental hygienist or pumping gasoline. I do not mind. I just want to survive and move on. “

Durham said she is frustrated by people who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

You want your story to show how that decision hurts other people with health problems.

“I want them to go get vaccinated. That way we don’t plug our hospitals and we keep delaying these surgeries. “

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