Patient with surgery put on hold pleads for people to get vaccinated

Beaumont hospital exterior
Posted at 10:45 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 23:17:02-05

(WXYZ) — Kathy Smith is one of many people waiting on an available hospital bed.

“The scheduler called me and said that all surgeries at Beaumont Oakwood Dearborn were canceled until further notice," Smith said.

The reason for the cancellation: "COVID! Too many patients saying there is not enough room," she added.

Smith was scheduled for back surgery on Dec. 9.

“I was scheduled for a laminectomy, which is where they go in and take bones out of my spine because my discs are pushing on my nerves causing tremendous pain," she said.

It’s a severe pain she doesn't know how much longer she can deal with as she waits for a new surgery date.

The procedure is supposed to take place at Beaumont Health in Dearborn. This is the same hospital where military medical personnel sent by the federal government are currently working to help the health system fight the fourth COVID-19 surge.

Smith asks, “How much longer? I can’t go on like this. I don’t like doing drugs. They have me on major medications.”

She says the pain is sometimes unbearable.

“I’m on the floor just screaming. There is nothing I can do. I can’t rub it. I can’t stretch, it’s just debilitating," Smith said.

Beaumont Health Chief of Clinical Services Dr. Jeffrey Fischgrund released a statement:

"We are doing everything we can to accommodate as many patients as possible.” Fischgrund said. Most Beaumont hospitals are still performing elective surgeries for outpatient procedures and those procedures that require just an overnight stay.”

Beaumont isn't the only hospital pushing back on elective surgeries. As 7 Action News has reported, this is taking place throughout the state.

ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital recently canceled procedures this week but was able to reschedule within a couple days.

Smith says the message is clear: “Get vaccinated. It’s not 100%. We know that people are getting vaccinated and getting sick.”

But as doctors keep repeating, the shot could save you a trip to the hospital and free up beds for patients like Smith.

"We continue to encourage patients to get vaccinated. The vaccine remains the best and most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus. Our health care team needs the support of the community. Please do your part and get vaccinated. And, if you have a friend or family member who is reluctant to get vaccinated, please encourage him or her to speak with a physician or a nurse," Fischgrund said.

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