Thu. May 19th, 2022

The father of an 11-month-old who is unable to get surgery or medical treatment is expressing his concern over the deepening health crisis in Saskatchewan caused by severe COVID-19 cases.

Graham Dickson said his daughter, Helen, is suspected of having cerebral palsy.

But the decision to shut down or suspend some non-emergency services in Saskatchewan means a final diagnosis has been delayed and surgeries or procedures that could improve his daughter’s quality of life have been put on fire.

“I’m afraid she’s going to have long-term consequences from this that she’s going to suffer with for the rest of her life, which to me is just confusing,” he said. “I do not understand why we are in this position.”

One system went wrong

The family is not alone.

Saskatchewan’s healthcare system has been pushed to its limit for handling COVID-19, and Helen is one of thousands of people whose treatment has been delayed and affected by provincial decisions.

Helen is shown treatment at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. (Posted by Graham Dickson)

Saskatchewan has been forced to cancel 200 operations a day as it tries to combat the growing number of cases, according to Dr. Hassan Masri, an intensive care specialist working at Royal University Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.

“We have [had] “Over 200 surgeries and procedures have been canceled every single day for the past two weeks,” he said in an interview. So we’re talking about nearly 3,000 surgeries and procedures that have been canceled over the course of two weeks. “

He expects the cancellations to continue, as will the consequences for human health.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) on Monday – and repeatedly since – was asked to provide data on the number of surgeries canceled so CBC could verify Masri’s statements.

SHA said it is working on the request but has not responded with further information this week.

Meanwhile, Dickson, his partner Laura Weins and their daughter Helen are in limbo.

Dickson and Weins learned about her pregnancy the day Prime Minister Scott Moe announced the first case of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.

It brought its own series of ups and downs. Helen was born underweight and has developed significant health problems.

LYT | Sask. cancer patient frustrated, scared after Alberta surgery canceled in mid-COVID-19 climb:

10:54Sask. cancer patient frustrated, afraid of Alberta surgery canceled in mid-COVID-19 rise

The COVID crisis here and in Alberta has forced many non-urgent operations to be canceled. But a cancer patient from near Wynard, Sask. says her life may depend on an operation in Edmonton that was just canceled. 10:54

Cerebral palsy is not usually diagnosed until a child is two years old, and it happens through an elimination process that requires many tests and surgeries.

While Helen has seen many different specialists, agreements and procedures have begun to fall apart in recent months as COVID-19 cases in the province increased.

The most recent cancellation was for surgery on Helen’s eye. Scheduled for later this year, it was postponed as a result of a decision taken in mid-September by SHA to suspend some of its non-emergency services.

Graham Dickson says he has been frustrated by the decisions the Saskatchewan government has made as the province’s health system is still overwhelmed. (Posted by Graham Dickson)

The province’s organ transplant program has completely stopped, and some aspects of home care, rehabilitation, diabetes counseling and brain and heart procedures were put on hold to deal with the pandemic.

But the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise — and so has the number of cancellations for Helen and others.

This week, Dickson and Weins were informed that the Kinsmen Children’s Center in Saskatoon is no longer able to provide the occupational and physical therapies that Helen needs.

They are now waiting for a phone call to find out when the program will resume.

“I try to remember it and not be angry, but it’s so hard not to be, because this crisis could be avoided,” Dickson said. “Health experts, epidemiologists, public health experts-they all warned about this.”

SE | Saskatchewan woman dies of COVID-19 after acute C-section:

Saskatchewan woman dies of COVID-19 after an emergency C-section

Jennifer Rosebluff-Thomas of Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation died of COVID-19 after an emergency operation at the birth of her child 2:19

‘Leaves an effect’

The current situation in Saskatchewan is difficult for everyone, Masri said.

“These are significant, significant challenges, and they are affecting the lives of people here in Saskatchewan – not just the vaccinated or the unvaccinated. At all,” he said.

“Because the hospitals are full of unvaccinated people, but outside the hospital, people who have received their vaccines are now having their surgeries canceled, their procedures canceled.”

He said it not only means optional surgeries, but also things like cancer treatments. The procedures may not be emergencies, but they still need to be done for a person to recover, Masri said.

Forcing people to wait two or three months can cause more suffering, a shift in quality of life or even potentially death, he said.

Moe has resisted calls to implement further restrictions in the province. He has said he does not want to punish those who made the choice to be vaccinated.

But Dickson, who has been vaccinated, disagrees.

“The people who are being punished are the most vulnerable people in our society, just like my 11-month-old daughter,” he said.

Dickson said his anger is not directed at those who remain unvaccinated, but at those politicians who do not put more restrictions in place to reduce the province’s growing number of COVID-19 cases to ease the burden on the medical system, so that healthcare can return to normal.

Parents or family members suffering in situations like his need to speak up and make it clear that this is unacceptable, Dickson said.

“If we do not tell our story and put pressure on the government, nothing will change.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.