A woman from the South Shore, whose priority heart surgery was postponed before Christmas because of the pressure exerted by COVID-19 on the health network, fears severe repercussions on her health.
“I was living so much rage inside […] The fear of dying, of no longer being operable, that [l’attente] damages my heart even more, that’s all that went through my head, ”says Véronique Gagnon, when she learned that she was paying the price of the pandemic.
She was due to be operated on December 11 at the Center hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, just after a first massive load shedding was announced in overwhelmed hospitals due to the number of patients suffering from COVID-19.
The 44-year-old Sainte-Catherine resident has been followed for seven years in cardiology, following the removal of her left lung, destroyed by a carcinoid tumor. Without this organ to support him, his heart twisted, harming the tricuspid valve.
Mme Gagnon points out that his last exams this fall showed that the time had now come to operate to repair or replace the valve, before too much damage was done to his heart.
Thus, the date had been chosen for the availability of the two surgeons necessary for his intervention. “I felt safe because it’s hard to have a date for both of them at the same time,” she says.
But two days before, the ax fell.
“My surgeon, just as desperate as me, told me that I was part of the load shedding,” she recalls.
“I was told that I was my surgeon’s priority, the first on her list,” she continues.
The covidiots bed
However, since following her operation, she will need to be hospitalized for about a week, it is impossible to find her a bed in intensive care.
“These are the covidiots who take my bed in intensive care and that’s what is frustrating, deplores Mme Gagnon. It’s no longer just a question of the people who are infected with COVID-19, but also the others who pay. “
A month after the cancellation of her operation, however urgent, she looks at the meteoric increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and wonders if she will actually be able to have an operation soon.
Still unsure of when that moment will finally come, she worries about the impact this delay will have on her heart. She lives “stress over stress” to wonder if she might undergo a more complex procedure in the months to come, for example.
“It is fraught with consequences”, she drops.
Mme Gagnon says she has cut herself off from the world since last March. With only one lung, she fears the impacts the coronavirus could have on her weakened respiratory system. She has not seen her son since.
While working from home, his only outings were to the hospital for his exams.
She also wanted to get off social networks, saying she was shocked by the selfish and careless behavior of those who do not respect health measures.