A teacher living with liver cancer says she could die without a transplant – which has been delayed for 22 months due to the pandemic.
Shona Mcfadyen was diagnosed with the disease in December 2018 and describes her situation as “life and death”.
Hospitals across England have closed their doors to transplant cases as beds become filled by coronavirus patients.
This had left people like Shona, from Northampton, with unspecified waits for potentially life-saving treatments and operations – causing sleepless nights.
She told the Independent that each day was a “rollercoaster of emotions” and that she couldn’t see the situation improving “for months”.
Are you in a similar situation to Shona? Email [email protected].
She said: “It’s not the hospital’s fault. I get that. But it just adds to the feeling of hopelessness and it feels like as patients we have been forgotten about.”
Science teacher Shona said she also longed to be the kind of person who could just worry about where they are going on holiday.
Appearing on the BBC, she said: “Unfortunately, my main problem is that I might die without a transplant – because it’s been delayed due to the pandemic.”
Shona is waiting for a transplant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
The hospital’s managing trust announced on Thursday that it would be “temporarily suspending our waiting list patients for 14 days and pausing kidney transplantation” due to the “critical” coronavirus situation.
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said previously that all planned procedures had been postponed “due the significant increase in the number of very sick patients”.
It added that “cancer treatment and life-saving care will remain our priority” in a statement in November.
Speaking to Sky News, Shona said she first heard about delays because of the pandemic during the first wave of the pandemic.
She said she received a phone call on which was told a transplant would be “pretty unlikely” following the outbreak.
Shona added: “I know that some patients before Christmas were told that they were classed as non-urgent and, as a result, they were temporarily suspended from the list. That’s quite scary.”
Major organ transplant centres have been forced to stop transplant cases because of a lack of beds and having need to send doctors and nurses to the coronavirus front line amid a surge in cases.
Health bosses are warning that the hospital numbers could continue to rise in some areas until the end of the month.
The impact on organ transplants follows hundreds of urgent cancer operations being delayed and across the country, as NHS trusts run out of spare beds to treat non-Covid patients.
A large number of routine operations have also been stopped in areas hit the hardest by coronavirus.
The Mirror has previously successfully campaigned for the government to extend the organ donation opt-out period, potentially saving hundreds of lives a year.
The so-called “deemed consent” legislation makes people automatic organ donors unless they actively chose not to participate in the system.
Transplant News Sharing // “Liver Transplants” – Google News from Source www.mirror.co.uk