An 82-year-old northern B.C. woman suffering from a post surgery infection is at risk of losing her leg, or worse, as she waits to be transferred from Terrace to Prince George, her daughter Rebecca Onstein told Black Press Media on Thursday.
After a Sept. 2 car accident Onstein said her mother underwent an operation on her foot at the hospital in Prince George and then transferred back to Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace on Sept. 14 to recover. Her leg became infected and needs urgent surgery but by the time she gets treatment, her family worries, it could be too late.
“If they don’t get my mom out she’ll lose her leg or she will die. And that’s not fair. She was promised better and she deserves better,” Onstein said.
Family say they were told Wednesday night that it was a “life or limb” situation and there would be a high priority Medevac to Prince George. But they were told at around midnight that she would no longer be leaving Terrace “even though her condition had only gotten worse,” Onstein said.
She said family were then told the Medevac would happen the next morning but were again let down. Another family member, having made the more than six-hour drive to Prince George in advance, was left waiting.
“This morning we all arrived at 6:00 in the morning, change of story, now there’s no bed in Prince George. So now she’s still waiting even though they’ve already told my 82-year-old mother that if they didn’t get her out immediately she would lose her leg and possibly if there was a serious blood infection she would die.”
“The nurses are amazing, and the doctors. They just don’t have the manpower,” Onstein said, adding that they don’t even have the tools in Terrace to take out the metal in her mother’s foot to stop the infection.
“Every doctor will tell you something different but the basic gist of it is that Vancouver and Kelowna won’t take her, Prince George won’t take her.
“She has no place that will take her and Terrace will not operate because they do not have the tools.”
Onstein said her mother, a former registered nurse at the Terrace hospital, has become another victim of B.C.’s “broken healthcare system” adding that the province needs to make healthcare its top priority.
“She worked in this hospital and now she’s upstairs waiting for a bed and may not get there fast enough. Now she’s lying in this hospital and there’s a chance she may die here. It doesn’t seem right.
“My mom is an incredibly strong woman and she’s more worried about her kids right now than she is about herself. My mom is brave and she’s strong and she’s handling this probably better than the rest of us but I do think she’s scared and I think she’s confused. It’s not fair.
“I want a bed for my mom and not only for my mom I want it for all the people who are stuck in the hospital waiting. I’m just angry being lied to and I’m sad for everyone who is in the same situation as my mom.”
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