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A death sentence from Alberta Health Services

My dad was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer. When it was found, it had already spread to his liver and stomach.

Cross Cancer said they can’t see him until mid-April. That will be 6 weeks since he was diagnosed.

Calls to both a private clinic in Vancouver and a public cancer facility in Toronto have 2 week waits.

Why is Alberta so slow? Do they not care that my dad is suffering while he is waiting to be seen???

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108 Responses

  1. I’m sorry this is happening. My dad died 7 years ago under similar circumstances.

    As much as we’d like to believe that Canada’s health care system is top notch, there are limitations, one of them being wait times.

    Not all patients get triaged correctly. Call everyday to see if there are cancellations.

    All the best.

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    • Bj Wam Bj Wam says:

      Same thing happened with my grandmother if they would have got it sooner she would have been ok, Canada’s healthcare is “free”, but it’s also a joke.

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    • Bj Wam Out of curiosity, when my dad was diagnosed I contacted a cancer centre in Montana. They said they could see him tomorrow.

      As much as we blast the US health care system, they don’t have a problem with time or innovation.

      Luckily my dad only had to wait about 2 weeks to be seen. But I can say that there was more than just triage involved. It helps to know people.

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    • Alden Gushnowski They don’t have a problem with time if you have enough money. No money though, no care.

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    • Nicole Wetsch Proof? Or just assumption?

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    • Definitely money with American hospitals

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    • Tony Reid Tony Reid says:

      Ahhh Canadians indoctrined to look down the US, and see everything they do as inferior. This never gets old.

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    • Sally Sicko Sally Sicko says:

      As a Canadian currently living in the US, it’s not a pay first/treatment second situation. If you have a medical situation and no insurance, they still see you. They still take care of whatever it is you’re in need of. Yes, bills are crazy expensive, but you don’t get turned away for being insuranceless when you need medical care.

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    • Sally Sicko In an emergency room that is the case, but otherwise, it isnt. I have a friend in the southern US whose son was in a car accident, pre-Obama care. He had no insurance. Yes, they did help him at first, while financially crippling him for the rest of his life with over a million dollars of debt. But once the emergency was over and he was released, the same hospital refused to do a follow up surgery without payment because it wasn’t immediately life threatening. Not only them, but also every other hospital in the area. So he was forced to be in extreme pain with almost no mobility, therefore unable to work, because of it.

      Not to mention the fact that people go without medical treatment because they know they cannot afford the bills, even those that are insured. A different friend told me stories of waiting 8 months for necessary diagnostic tests because she had already reached the cap for tests under her insurance and could not afford the out of pocket expense, so she had to wait until her benefits rolled over to the next year.

      In no way am I saying that Canadian medical care is perfect, but any medical system that puts money over people is indefensible.

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  2. The system as a whole is broken. Bottom line is Healthcare costs money. Remember when the PC’s took away AHS premiums?

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  3. My dad was diagnosed Sept 21, 2004. His first treatment was Sept 26 at the cross cancer. I have nothing but good things to say about that place. Treatment did nothing to save him, just prolonged his life for a few months. He was already stage 4 lung cancer that spread through every part of his body at that point. Keep calling for cancellations. Its frustrating as hell but i wish you and your father the best during this awful time.

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  4. Sorry to hear that. My family has suffered from cancer as well. It is a shock.
    Unfortunately, it isn’t that they don’t care or want to sit in treatment, it has a lot of other factors that we don’t always see. There are a lot of people here and medical stuff are not abundant.

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  5. Its slow because sadly we need more doctors. They have even posted about it online and in doctors offices.

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  6. Kim Schindel Kim Schindel says:

    Health care cost money…unfortunately living in a socialist system it may not be what we choose. It is our choice to find alternatives

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  7. Dianne Slade Dianne Slade says:

    We can thank the Klein years for the destruction of our health care. Entire wards and OR rooms were shut down and it will take decades to get back to snap.

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    • Kim Schindel Kim Schindel says:

      We can also thank every single person that has a sore throat or a cough for abusing the so called free health care system. Klein was a time when Alberta didn’t have a deficit…how was that bad?

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    • Don’t forget fevers. A fever isn’t always bad…. people are so stupid and doctors keep telling them to get checked. Ugh

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    • The level of healthcare spending when Klein took office was lower than when he left office. You know, facts.

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    • Kevin Blais Kevin Blais says:

      Typical NDP response. Let’s blame the prior guys.
      Your just sad your gonna LOSE next election.

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    • Dianne Slade Dianne Slade says:

      Alden Gushnowski I was in my thirties and remember those times. Quite a few doctors left the province as well as no jobs for graduating RNs.

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    • Kim Schindel It is incredibly easy to not have a deficit when you fire doctors, nurses and teachers and close hospitals and schools with no care for the people who can no longer get timely medical care.

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    • Dianne Slade I was in my twenties with multiple family members in the health care field. All fully employed. I also remember the job fairs hiring away some of my friends to Texas with large signing bonuses. See I was always told nursing was a profession where the money didn’t matter, until of course money was an issue.

      The province at that time was told we would have austerity measures and cuts would be made in the short term for long term care. Call me silly but I would rather spend $2 billion on Albertans than on interest payments.

      By the time Klein left office all healthcare funding was restored, spending at higher levels than before he took office.

      It’s been a decade and a half and yet people are still blaming Klein. Hilarious.

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    • Kim Schindel Kim Schindel says:

      If health care wasnt free by socialist bs…good doctors and nurses wouldn’t go to the states for better paying jobs.

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    • Kim Schindel Kim Schindel says:

      I have seen many friends and family move to the US …they arent taxed to death…and making good money. I’m surprised more Canadians haven’t jumped the border.

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    • Really? I highly doubt it’s Klein’s fault he was the BEST premiere we ever had. He got us out of debt and he did his job. Everything now is Notleys fault.

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    • If I ever want to see a complete lack of facts and reasoning I just need to reada thread full of Klein fans. Even if you ignore the mass exodus of skilled workers umder Klein, how do you ignore the massive infrastructure debt he created? How do you people nit realize the billions his government costus by not keeping up with maintenance and construction if new facilitiez as needed. The Misericordia hosptital is the perfect example. Built in 69 and thenpromptly ignored by the PC’sfor 40 years, despite several reports they commissioned listing the required maintenance and repairs, they did none. Now it is pretty much cheaper to demo and start fresh.

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    • Nicole Wetsch Because Klein got us to a point where money was starting to be re-invested. So you don’t put money into maintenance, instead you go crazy and pay the mortgage. Now that your mortgage is paid off, you open the wallet again, which is what he was doing. He also did that with an average of $30-$35 per barrel oil. Divested revenues from 30% of revenues to 18%.

      His predecessors is what failed his plan. Red Tories started spending like liberals, and now you see the results of a 10 year mismanagement of funds.

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    • Except ignoring maintenance to pay the mortgage is beyond foolish. All it does is cost you ten times more in the long run. If I have a leak in my roof I can spend $500 to fix it or, by your logic, I can put an extra $500 on my mortgage. Then in 3 years I have saved myself one month of mortgage payments, but instead I am now paying $8000 for a new roof. Not putting money into basic maintenance is never a good idea.

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    • “Massive infrastructure deficit.” So when money does roll in, they build a riverbank elevator. Sorry, when someone uses that term, I know I’m getting my crank yanked.

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    • Warren Gamache You realize that was a city expenditure, not provincial. I am not sure if you are aware, but the province doesn’t actually control municipal budgets. Perhaps try understanding the topic before commenting.

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    • Nicole Wetsch The government didn’t stop spending money all together. Hence, “basic maintenance “ was there.

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    • I don’t buy all the little accounting tricks the various levels of government use to diffuse responsibility. Edmonton doesn’t need a riverbank elevator. The province’s infrastructure is ‘crumbling.’ Ergo one of these wise stewards of our destiny could have decided to take the riverbank elevator money and turn it over to the province. Or Edmonton could just bank the dough so the next time they need funding for something instead of going to the province for money they can just use the dough from the riverbank elevator fund.

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    • Nicole Wetsch Most “infrastructure” projects are a combination of funding from more than one level.

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    • Alden Gushnowski Talk to anyone who has worked at the Mis and then tell me basic maintenance was there. It wasn’t.

      Hospitals and schools are built by the province. Provincial roads are built by the province. PC’s through up a new school in a key riding here and there, they spent some money, but overall maintenance and infrastructure needs were ignored. If they weren’t we would not have had a $20billion infrastructure debt in transportation (i.e. roads) alone when they exited office.

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    • Warren Gamache you seem very stuck on the funicular, just to clarify, no where did I say I supported it. I didn’t. That being said, it wasn’t the furnicular that created $20billion in transport infrastructure debt or the over a hundred billion infrastructure debt related to hospitals and schools.

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    • Dianne Slade Dianne Slade says:

      Alden Gushnowski oh bull. Nothing was built. Not enough hospitals for the increasing population. Oh….and schools too.

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    • Dianne Slade His last few years of office Klein announced a bunch of schools. It was part of a whole campaign. Don’t you remember the critics suggesting the announcements being made in PC ridings being called sweetheart announcements?

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  8. I know this is a bad time to talk about money and pension, but this would fall under a critical illness.
    The Government of Canada will fast track this application, every dollar matters while your father battles cancer.
    https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/content/EForms/en/Detail.html?Form=ISP2530

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  9. He should also be able to get some care from his gp in the mean time. Sorry about your dad. ❤

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  10. You might be against it, but try cbd/thc. Cannabis is not a drug. It is a medicinal plant. Try it. You never know.

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  11. Then go to another doc to have them confirm it all. You should be seen in the Cross within 1 week depending on the stage/aggression.

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  12. I am so sorry for your tragedy. I would be willing to pay AHS premiums again as well, if it allowed faster access to treatment.

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    • If I’m not mistaken, the premiums come from tax dollars and are “hidden” as opposed to the way it used to be billed.

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    • Doreen Hernandez True. But they need more money, so one way to get it.

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    • Yvonne Dean Yvonne Dean says:

      Hi Lynne, when our AHC premiums were done away with, I called our then Minister of Health. I said that I believed that most Albertans would rather pay the premiums if it would shorten wait lists and backlogs. I learned that premiums were not paid into the Health Care Budget but went into “General Revenue”. Then the funds were distributed where the ruling party felt they were most needed. Apparently not for Health Care!

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    • Yvonne Dean I believe that’s correct. Hopefully, our current government would pledge not to do the same.

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    • That’s just it; the ‘Health Care Premiums’ never actually went to improving health care so than what’s the point of paying them?

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    • That’s just it; the ‘Health Care Premiums’ never actually went to improving health care so than what’s the point of paying them?

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    • That’s just it; the ‘Health Care Premiums’ never actually went to improving health care so than what’s the point of paying them?

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    • That’s just it; the ‘Health Care Premiums’ never actually went to improving health care so than what’s the point of paying them?

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  13. Terah Abel Terah Abel says:

    Thats strange as my mom got in within days for hers

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    • Cee Dee Hawn Cee Dee Hawn says:

      So did mine. It could be that he can actually wait and not die.
      It doesn’t make it any easier on family and friends.
      When we vote we don’t take cuts to healthcare into consideration….but when it’s our loved ones; we want the best Healthcare yesterday.

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    • Terah Abel Terah Abel says:

      Cee Dee Hawn I agree, waiting is awful. But I would suspect they know the urgency although it may not seem like they do. I hope they prescribed him with something to keep him comfortable. I also hope the op knows if his symptoms become unbearable to take him to emergency. In some, but not all cases, that can lead to a fast track.

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    • My gramma also had very quick treatment. Granted, it was lung cancer, and from diagnoses to her passing on was just three months. There was no 6 weeks to wait around. Maybe it depends on the kind of cancer, and a person’s life directive. But the OP’s wait time seems awfully long. I wonder what procedure they’re waiting on. Other health concerns sometimes get in the way, too (heart, current infections, etc).

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  14. People abuse the health care system

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  15. I am so sorry your family is going thru this.

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  16. Kim Schindel Kim Schindel says:

    Im sorry that all the voters think a socialist system is best. This is why our urgent health care sucks!

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  17. Keep calling the cross cancer daily and ask if there are any cancellations. And always keep your phone with you because they may phone and ask you to come earlier.

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  18. Cee Dee Hawn Cee Dee Hawn says:

    My mom was in within days. Sadly, she died in days.
    It could be that he can wait a few weeks.
    It doesn’t make it any easier on family and friends.
    Remember this when we vote. The current govt added 3% to the budget, renegotiated docs and nurses raises to keep costs stable and renegotiated prescriptions to free up some budget. Is streamlining paperwork electronically. Changing testing procedures to avoid unnecessary or repititious testing.
    They’re trying to reverse the damage years of cuts have done.
    When we vote we don’t take cuts to healthcare into consideration….but when it’s our loved ones; we want the best Healthcare yesterday.
    We can’t do.tgat without more doctors, nurses and the budget.

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  19. It sounds like your dads cancer has already sadly metastasized. I hope he has been given adequate pain medication. If not and you have any issues and he’s suffering, do not hesitate to take him to emerge for adequate pain medication. I’m so sorry you are all going through this.

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    • We found out when my dad was dying of cancer that his name can be put in the paramedics computer. If he needs pain control you can call them and they would send a bus to give pain control. I dont know if its because dad chose to pass at home.

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  20. Our healthcare system needs a complete overhaul. Yes, healthcare costs money and lots of it. Should be some kind participation cost based on income.

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    • Adam Warmuth Adam Warmuth says:

      What about participation cost based on usage? I make a decent amount but hardly use any medical services, non smoker, not obese, yet I pay the same as others who make consciously poor decisions repeatedly and use our healthcare system as a pez dispenser for meds.

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    • Adam Warmuth A health “insurance” system would be ok with me. The more risky the person, the more you pay. There could be limits to make sure it’s still affordable. It at least a rebate system.

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  21. Get him on canabis oil right away!

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  22. Kathleen Rae Kathleen Rae says:

    When I was turned down for a hip replacement and my bone crumbled in Edmonton I went private and had it done in five weeks elsewhere.

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  23. Same thing happened to my partner! He passed the day of his appt

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  24. Jen Parker Jen Parker says:

    I strongly suggest to call the media…sadly, the squeaky wheel often gets the grease….

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  25. Levi Sam Levi Sam says:

    Well, shit man, I’m wondering if you can get him some weed for the pain?

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  26. Shawna Perez Shawna Perez says:

    My MIL had to wait three months before being seen. By then the cancer was no longer treatable and she died. In Canada, esp. Alberta, any serious illness is almost NEVER treated properly anyway, least of all in a timely fashion (unless you are a politico or an Oiler then the doors open so fast they fling off the hinges). If you want to get better, you have to go to South America or Europe. Good luck to you.

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  27. Sorry to hear. But the reality is once cancer gets into the liver and stomach little can be done.

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  28. Jordan White Jordan White says:

    Honestly it all depends how much money you have and how good your insurance is to them nothing else matters but money just because cancer is a multi million if not billion money maker every year

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  29. I completely understand what you are going through. My dad was diagnosed with liver cancer July 26, 2009. His first treatment was chemo embolism on December 29, 2009. He passed away March 10, 2010. He only had the one treatment. It was horrible to watch him suffer and to know that they really didn’t do anything for him but cause him more pain with that one treatment.

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  30. Did you try the Tom Baker Cancer Facility in Calgary. Its the sister hospital to The Cross Cancer. Sadly there are not enough facilities to accommodate all the people needing treatment.

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  31. Sometimes you need to push as the gatekeepers are not the doctors. Here it seems that it is sometimes the nurses and receptionists who do decisions while they do not have the knowledge. I did a sitdown once by requesting to see my doctor when my vital heart operation was delayed. I asked the silly receptionist to answer a question she could not answer and was in a hospital soon after.

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  32. Kel E Ameroh Kel E Ameroh says:

    Keep calling your doctor and the Cross. Squeaky wheel gets looked after first. Call your MLA as well to look into it as to why the long delay.

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  33. Joe Inkster Joe Inkster says:

    At what point does it or should it become Dr. aided suicide?

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  34. Laurie Morin Laurie Morin says:

    Same thing happened to our family a few years ago. Only the Cross Cancer clinic told my mom that they wouldn’t even make an appointment for my stepdad as his cancer was too aggressive and it would be pointless.

    Not something you want to hear from a Clinic that is supposed to help families cope with the news of cancer.

    Thankfully my Mom fought for him and they found a Doctor who was helpful and put stints in him which prolonged his life from a couple weeks to 8 months before he passed away.

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    • May I ask what kind of cancer?

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    • Laurie Morin Laurie Morin says:

      Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I know that there wasn’t a lot the Cross Cancer could do but to basically tell us we were not worth their time to even make an appointment to see us (and he had excellent benefits) was maddening to say the least. If my mom hadn’t took the time to do her own research and found a doctor who would see him (and did help him) then he would have passed away a lot sooner than he did.

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  35. Yes our hospitals in Edmonton can be concerning, I’ve also been through some real head shaking situations and currently my best friend and soul mate/girlfriend of 17 years is battling cancer and the UofA hospital sent her home too early and now she’s back in had to have a second surgery for infection and swelling as well as intestinal blockage because of their fuck up, she’s now in a induced coma and I’m terrified for her, please don’t let this upset you just want you to know your not alone, my thoughts and prayers are with you, be strong, have faith and look after yourself in the mean time godless

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