A disabled grandfather with a bedridden wound says his life has become ‘chaos’ as he waited three years for surgery.
Danny Sullivan, 75, was forced to stay in bed until 6 pm – but now a Covid scare is about to ruin his chances of finally getting treatment. The grandfather, from Kings Heath, Birmingham, has been awaiting surgery since late 2019.
He was hopeful when the surgery was first planned for April 2020, before the pandemic led to his indefinite suspension. The resulting large-scale treatment meant that it was not considered a priority for treatment and has been waiting ever since.
NHS trusts have been told to ensure that all patients waiting more than two years are treated. The pensioner was paralyzed from the waist down after being injured in a car accident and gets around in a wheelchair when he doesn’t sleep.
Danny says he tries to stay positive but admits all the time spent in bed and living his day has taken its toll. After three years of pain, the 75-year-old found some hope when she had a pre-op on the phone ahead of a scheduled biopsy earlier this year.
But his optimism was dashed when he was later told that rising Covid levels had cast doubt on the system, meaning his tough wait could be a long one. Danny explained: “Since then they’ve been talking and they don’t know if they’re going to get me in as the Covid levels rise again.”
For the past three years, the exhausted grandfather has been bedridden in his first-floor apartment with local nurses visiting him every day to change his clothes.
The fact that he uses a wheelchair means that his stomach ulcer will get worse if he is left alone for a long time. He told the Birmingham Mail earlier this year: “It would be best for my peace of mind and my general wellbeing.
“It’s like a loss of life now. “The worst part of it all is that you have nothing to look forward to. You have no date.”
The progress of the past few weeks has given him hope, as he said “it seems things are moving forward. “It’s encouraging that at least something is being done.”
Mr. Sullivan has always insisted he did not expect to be prioritized over other cancer patients and treatments so quickly but believes he has suffered enough.
“That’s how it is,” he continued. “There was nothing else I could do, I contacted my local MP and wrote to the hospital. At least it keeps my name out there.
I was never depressed. It’s just getting out – life is waiting.”
The University Hospitals NHS Trust, which oversees QE, has apologized for treatment delays it believes are the result of unwanted “high-handedness”.
NHS waiting lists have reached record levels, with one in eight people in England currently waiting for treatment. More than six million people are on surgery lines, up from 1.2 million in a year as the NHS battles back the Covid.
Last year, a poll found that 98% of NHS staff say poor access means patients will suffer long after hospitals miss targets to clear Covid records due to staff shortages.