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Woman's surgery cancelled twice amidst COVID-19

Emma Olsen
Taylor in the hospital after being told her surgery is cancelled again
Taylor in the hospital after being told her surgery is cancelled again  Taylor Holliman

A young Aucklander has had her surgery cancelled twice because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taylor Holliman,19, has been left devastated after being told her Chron's surgery is cancelled - for the second time.

On March 12 at Auckland Hospital, Taylor waited for four hours, undergoing blood tests, changing into her gown, signing off with her anaesthetic doctor and sitting in the theatre waiting area ready to go into surgery, when her surgeon told her "your surgery is cancelled due to a delay" and she was sent home.

"I cried. I had gone through so much to prepare myself for this day and to go so far through the pre-surgery process and then to be told it's cancelled at the very last minute was disappointing...not comforting at all."

An Auckland District Health Board spokesperson said in order to prioritise patients requiring urgent care during this unprecedented time, some non-acute planned surgeries had been rescheduled. 

"We never take the decision to postpone any planned surgery lightly, and we are sorry for any disruption or distress, this may cause our patients and whānau."

In 2015, Taylor was originally diagnosed as lactose intolerant.

Two months later, when symptoms weren't improving, she was finally diagnosed with Chron's disease.

For nearly five years, Taylor has battled with anemia, fatigue and massive weight loss. She has dropped 15 kilograms and since December has been forced to stop working because she doesn't have enough energy.

"I personally think the worst think about having Chron's is the constant uncontrollable abdominal pain and irregular bowels.

"I honestly try not to let my Chron's affect anything that I want or need to do. However, when I do get pains it really does hinder my ability and mental health to stay positive and push through."

Taylor is currently on the sickness benefit and hopes she can receive her surgery soon.

"I look forward to the day I'm able to live without this disease, I can't wait to have less appointments and I also can't wait to eat food without it hurting me."

Chron's is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract.

According to the Ministry of Health, the condition has affected approximately 15,000 New Zealanders. It can occur at any age but is most often diagnosed in young adults.

Symptoms often include diarrhoea and stomach pain, but can be treated successfully with medication. However, in some cases, surgery is necessary.