Letter: Depressed and demoralized by hospital wait times

A local small business owner is out of commission while waiting for surgery.

Dear Editor,

This is an email I just sent to our political leaders regarding my present experience with the state of our healthcare system.

Dear Premier Horgan, Hon. Minister Dix, Deputy Minister Stephen Brown,

My name is Cleve Stordy. I am a 58 year old lifelong British Columbia resident and taxpayer and thirty year resident of Langley. I have a wife of 36 years and three children.

On this past Thursday, March 29 I experienced severe chest pain and was admitted to Langley Memorial Hospital with the diagnosis of multi vessel cardiac disease with LV function 40% with inferior akinesis.

Since that time I have been a resident of LMH CCU. I am informed that I require multiple bypass surgeries. My condition I am told has been stabilized for the time being under the exceptional care of an impressively professional, committed and empathetic team of nurses and a generally unhelpful, uninformative, unsupportive rarely seen doctor.

Because my admission happened just prior to the start of the Easter long weekend most staff at LMH and Royal Columbian where the surgery will take place, were away on holiday and no information could be made available regarding the scheduling of my required surgical procedure.

Today (Tuesday) I was informed that it would be at least six weeks until I might receive my critically necessary surgery. In the meantime, I am informed, I will be kept ‘on hold’ unable to leave LMH CCU.

I am a hard working, successful independent businessman, contributing to the economy of British Columbia and the rest of Canada. We small business people fall between many cracks in the social safety net; no extended benefits, no unemployment insurance, no disability compensation, no nothing except the privilege of paying taxes.

To be out of commission for SIX weeks waiting for cardiac surgery coupled with eight weeks of recuperation, means over three months unable to operate my business and pay my bills, pay my taxes and support my family.

So the terribly broken provincial healthcare system leaves this patient two choices: Go home and sustain his livelihood and continue to support himself and his family, or stay here and watch my business falter. I may die by going home but as least I will leave the legacy of life insurance that will support my family’s future.

How many tens of thousands of dollars are being spent keeping me ‘on a shelf’ waiting for cardiac surgery. How many tens of thousands of dollars could be saved by returning me to a productive contributor to society!

As a footnote (Wednesday evening) to this, I have just been removed from CCU as my physician has deemed me sufficiently ‘stable’ and there are actually sick people who require the bed. I have now been ejected from CCU and put on the most vile of wards. Inhumane, unsafe and unfair. Up to six weeks in a four bed room so small there is no room for a chair or visitor. I honestly believe prison cells have more space and the wardens likely more sympathetic.

I am depressed, demoralized and defeated at the moment sitting in the hospital cafeteria.

Cleve Stordy

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