A GRAN turned down an appointment with a locked out doctor has only six months to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Ellie Krzywy began to suffer from a chronic cough and shortness of breath in June, but was prescribed antibiotics during a phone consultation with her GP.
The 62-year-old then attempted to set up a face-to-face date after her lips turned blue and she struggled to breathe, but was told she needed to first of a coronavirus test.
Ellie was eventually given the green light for the virus and doctors found that the oxygen levels in her blood had dropped and her right lung was silent.
It wasn’t until August, after three weeks of waiting for the x-ray results, that the gran-des-eight learned the terrible news she had lung cancer.
Her heartbroken daughter Marina Sendall has now accused Gloucester Health Center of ‘fobbing’ her mother during the lockdown.
And she claims the doctors who initially refused to see Ellie stole precious time together from the family after her mother had only six months to live.
“COVID WAS AN EXCUSE”
Marina, 33, said: “I think covid was used as an excuse not to see her, it seems to be.
” I do not know if [covid] had a huge impact or if it’s a ‘get out of jail free’ card [for GPs] thinking “now we can blame it on covid”.
“My mother’s GP didn’t want to see her, he just thought ‘let’s try this, let’s try this’, he tried every possible medicine on her which actually made her worse – my mother is not a guinea pig .
” And why? It cost us more time. I feel very angry, frustrated and hopeless.
“If my mom had been seen when she first called, we probably would have had a different outcome, but by this point it had spread.
“Maybe she wouldn’t have had a brilliant prognosis but we certainly would have spent a lot more time with her. “
Ellie started coughing in April, but felt okay otherwise and rejected her because she had no symptoms of coronavirus.
But when the cough didn’t change, Marina advised her mother to see the GP and get him checked out.
Ellie tried to make an appointment in June and was told she should do a phone consultation instead as the office was not seeing patients.
The cleaner was prescribed antibiotics, which did not work, but was again denied an appointment due to Covid and offered more tablets and inhalers.
Ellie was booked for an x-ray on July 24 after she was finally examined by a paramedic, but her condition worsened and she began to wheeze while speaking.
Marina, a mother of three, decided to take her mother to the hospital on her own after being haunted by the nightmare of Ellie dying.
The gran had been tested extensively and the doctors found a large mass which turned out to be small cell lung cancer.
‘IN A STATE OF SHOCK’
Ellie said: “When I couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment I was very disappointed, the whole time my health was declining.
“I felt completely helpless, not knowing whether someone would see me or not. Going to A&E was what helped because everything went very quickly afterwards.
“I’m in shock that I have so little time left. ”
After a biopsy and a CT scan, Ellie has started chemotherapy which is due to end at the end of this month.
But last month Marina had to endure the heartbreaking task of shaving her mother’s head after her beloved curly hair began to fall out in clumps.
WHAT IS SMALL CELL CANCER (SCLC)?
There are two main types of primary lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) gets its name from the appearance of cancer under a microscope. It accounts for about one in seven lung cancer (about 15%).
Some cases of non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery, while others may require chemotherapy and radiation therapy, especially if the disease has spread or the patient has other health problems that exclude surgery.
During this time, small cell lung cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy – sometimes in combination with radiation therapy.
There are eight important signs to look out for with lung cancer:
1. A cough that does not go away after two or three weeks
2. A long-standing cough that gets worse
3. Persistent lung infections
4. Coughing up blood
5. Pain or pain when breathing or coughing
6. Persistent shortness of breath
7. Persistent fatigue or lack of energy
8. Unexplained loss of appetite or weight loss
She said, “We cried for four days right after hearing the news, it was horrible.
“It was terrible to hear that she had suffered all these weeks from cancer.
“It was very hard because inside you break down, on the other hand, I had to make sure she was taken care of, I didn’t want to waste any more time.
The family have now set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Ellie’s last wishes – including visiting her birthplace in Gliwice, Poland, where her mother is buried.
A spokesperson for the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: ‘We are very sorry to learn of this patient’s experiences and that the concerned lady and her daughter are not satisfied with the service provided.
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“We urge him to contact our Patient Liaison and Consultation Service (PALS) so that we can look into the matter thoroughly and liaise with the practice.
“The NHS also has a complaints handling process in place to look into any concerns raised and our PALS team will be happy to provide you with details.
“We have worked closely with our general practitioners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the appropriate arrangements and safeguards are in place to see patients face to face if their medical needs so require.