Stage 3 lung cancer patient among hundreds in Alberta to have surgery cancelled this week
Just hours before Premier Jason Kenney addressed Albertans last Wednesday, Grant Humphrey got some welcome news — surgeons would remove his cancerous right lung about a week sooner than expected.
"I asked her about chemo and radiation and all that," Humphrey said about his surgeon. "But she says it would be non-curative if we went that way."
Facing Stage 3 lung cancer, Humphrey had few options.
"I was like, 'OK, let's get it done.," he said.
Despite the dangers of the major surgery, the 60-year-old says it gave him hope for the future. But that hope was crushed less than two days later.
"On (Friday) after Mr. Kenney was kind enough to come back to his province to work, he decided to have all surgeries cancelled," said Humphrey.
Kenney took a prolonged vacation through August as cases grew, making his last unannounced public appearance Aug. 9 and not speaking again publicly until Sept. 2.
Over the past three weeks, an increasing number of surgical procedures have been cancelled to divert resources to care for the continuing rise in acutely ill COVID patients. Only two out of eight operating rooms at Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary are still performing procedures. Doctors are warning that triage protocols are only days away.
Despite repeated requests, AHS has declined to share the total number of cancelled surgeries in Alberta, saying the information is not available.
Nearly 80 per cent of patients hospitalized with COVID aren't fully vaccinated and in a Sept. 13 presentation, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said a large portion of the fully vaccinated who are in hospital have underlying conditions that either limit the shot's effectiveness or who are frail enough that even otherwise mild infections pose a serious health risk.
Humphrey, who says he voted for Kenney's government in 2019, is angered by the government's lack of action and the continuing deference shown to vaccine-resistors.
"Where's my right? Where's my right to my life?" said Humphrey, stopping for the first time in a long conversation as he appeared to be struggling with emotion.
"So that's a hard one to swallow. When's it going to happen? Will I make it?"
A vaccine passport system came into effect Monday in Alberta, but it is voluntary and has been put on businesses to opt-in and regulate. The province's proof of vaccination documentation became available over the weekend but was released in a format that made it easy to falsify information with no way for the system to verify.
The vaccination passport system has resulted in a surge in first-dose vaccinations, according to AHS data.
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