Young mum’s desperate plea for surgery
A young mum who has struggled with debilitating pain for years is now battling with the health system to have a potentially life-changing surgery.
Drew Khan has battled with women’s heath issues for years; starting puberty at age 9, falling pregnant with her daughter at 14 and going on to have multiple miscarriages and an unviable pregnancy before the birth of her son.
That was when she began to suffer from chronic pain, with her struggles pushing her to see a surgeon.
“I have endometriosis, I have ovarian cysts and I have pretty much lots of my organs – my bowel, my ovaries, my bladder and uterus – all stuck together,” Ms Khan said on A Current Affair.
She has tried a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine, pain medication, and a surgery, none of which have ended the pain.
The 23-year-old takes a cocktail of painkillers every day in order to get through including, 14 Endone, 20 Tapentadol, and morphine tablets every week.
The pain can often leave her wheelchair bound.
“If I don‘t take painkillers, I am in hospital,” she said.
Her doctors say a hysterectomy is a solution to her pain, however just a few days before she was due to go into surgery, Coffs Harbour Hospital called Ms Khan to tell her the operation would not be going ahead.
“At first it was, ‘You’re too young’, then it was, ’We don’t believe it was the uterus that was the pain’. Now in a letter it is, ’We don’t believe we have explored all avenues to manage your pain’,” Khan said.
Ms Khan and her family were left devastated by the decision, with her daughter Elena on the brink of tears when she speaks about it.
“I feel like I want to hug her so tight until she gets better. I don’t want to watch her struggle like this every moment of my life,” she said.
Part of the reason behind the decision to cancel the surgery was the possibility that she may want more children in the future, as a hysterectomy would prevent that.
However, Ms Khan says she know what she is getting herself into, after already having her tubes tied.
“Give me my choice with what I want to do with my body. That’s my right. I want to get better for my kids and for myself,” she said.
A spokesperson for Coffs Harbour hospital’s local health district apologised “for the distress this patient has experienced by the cancellation of the planned surgical procedure” in a statement to the program.
“Mid North Coast Local Health District has met with the patient and their partner and consulted with a number of specialists, including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, about this case,” they said.
“The District is continuing to provide support and advice to the patient and their partner on further treatment, pain management and surgical options.”