Patient 359 #JustTreatUs
Tuesday 24th November 2020
COVID-19 has placed a huge strain on the NHS and led to the delay of thousands of appointments and heart valve disease treatments. But behind every number is a story, and this is the story of Patient 359. All individual's identities have been kept anonymous.
"I am a 42-year-old woman and have been awaiting mitral valve repair since March of this year. I had my (first) pre-op assessment on 18th March, expecting that surgery would take place anytime during the following 12 weeks.
Obviously, this was not to be, and in September, I requested that my GP expedite my place on the waiting list as I could feel my symptoms (lethargy, breathlessness, dizziness) were deteriorating. I was booked in for my second pre-op assessment on 30th September.
Eventually, about 4 weeks ago, after weekly telephone calls with the hospital, they were able to tell me that I was booked in for surgery on 26th November. I was elated! Finally, my family and I felt that we knew where we stood and that with a definite date, we could at least try to plan around it to some degree. I also told my boss, who promptly sent out an email advertising a temporary secondment role to cover my absence.
Fast forward to last week, and on Monday I spoke to the hospital who advised me that although the appointment was still provisionally booked on the system, that I should expect it to be cancelled. Come Friday last week I phoned for another update on progress, and lo and behold, it has been officially cancelled again.
I completely understand that literally the whole world is in chaos and that my case is not unique. However the waiting and the torment of getting to this point in time has been tough especially with the increase in symptoms. I am 42 years old, have two children of school age and am a Refugee Support Caseworker. Other than my heart issues, I am in good health, and I just need to be treated so I can get back to living my life, supporting my family and contributing to the economy."
Click here for more information on our #JustTreatUs campaign. If you or a loved one have experienced delays or disruptions to treatments, email firstname.lastname@example.org and give your support to our campaign.