Letter: Having major surgery and expected to travel by Greyhound

Letter writer talks about difficulties getting to Kelowna from rural patients

To the editor:

Recently I found out that I had to go to Kelowna for lung surgery and would need transportation to and from Kelowna. With no family here and friends unable to drive me there and back (from Nelson) I needed other transportation, which I was willing to pay for.

I contacted departments associated with Interior Health Authority (IHA) as well as volunteer organizations. One of the people who worked for IHA told me that I could either take the Greyhound back or pay for a taxi, if I could afford it. When I told her that I was having lung surgery she said that other people took the Greyhound – I was having major surgery and was expected to travel by Greyhound?

Finding out about this lack of service added a huge level of stress—stress that I did not need on top of knowing what was ahead.

A few days before having to leave for Kelowna two people who I did not know offered to help; one to get me to Kelowna and the other would drive from Nelson to Kelowna to pick me up post surgery and get me back home. I am so very grateful to these two people.

I guess what I want to say is that in case of major surgery:

1. Make sure that you have a spouse or family living close by, and if not

2. Make sure that you have friends who are able to get you there and back.

The above two suggestions are said tongue-in-cheek, but transportation is a huge issue for people in rural areas.

Although I belong to the older generation, younger people may also find themselves in similar situations. Perhaps they have had an accident and have no family around, their friends are working or have small children and are unable to take them back and forth to Kelowna or another major centre.

I do know that many people have to go to Kelowna for heart or cancer surgery as well as follow-ups. Rural areas are in need of better health care and that includes transportation.

Birthe W. Achtner, Nelson

Just Posted

UPDATE: Local skier being mourned at Big White

He was a local snowboarder, who went to Rutland high school.

Waiting to be seated

Kelowna West MLA-elect Ben Stewart won’t be sworn in in time for tomorrow’s B.C. budget

Cold weather expected to linger in the Okanagan

Although there were no snowfall records set in Kelowna with the 10 centimetres accumulated

Crash in West Kelowna

Emergency services are working on clearing a crash that happened at around 9:07 a.m. Monday morning.

Trial date for Rutland killing to be set today

A trial date for the man charged in the 2014 murder of Christopher Ausman

PHOTOS: Icing the competition

Skate Canada 2018 Okanagan Regional Championships skated through Vernon this weekend

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Suspect faces charges of possession of stolen property, weapon

Two people arrested outside Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm Saturday, woman released without charge

VIDEO: SUV races moose along Similkameen roadway

Moose pose highway danger, and they are pretty fast too

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

Porch lights turn on for Canadian teen behind #BeccaToldMeTo movement

New Brunswick’s Rebecca Schofield had asked her Facebook followers to perform random acts of kindness

Family supported following fire

Armstrong home destroyed by fire Friday, friends and family pitch in

B.C. files challenge to Alberta wine trade ban

First formal dispute under Canadian Free Trade Agreement

Most Read