Dear Canada,
I am watching my patient die. Week by week, I watch her body deteriorate, shut down, collapse into itself. I watch as her thoughts become diffuse, no doubt due to atrophy in her prefrontal cortex.
The family is watching their child die in the prime of her life. Labwork shows us that her heart is weak, immune system shutting down…her bowels barely function, her hands cold to the touch and purple from lack of circulation.
There is treatment that would save her life but we can’t access it and while she sits on several waiting lists, I’m afraid she will die waiting. If this was cancer, I don’t believe we would be in this position.
My patient has anorexia nervosa, a brain-based disease with the highest mortality rate (next to the opioid crisis) than any other psychiatric illness.
I could get her to the USA tomorrow where she would be treated but the costs are incredibly high. OHIP won’t cover it. The insurance company won’t cover it.
While my patient’s story is not unique (there are thousands like her, dying, families helpless) I cannot be silent. I refuse to be silent.
Please share. Maybe someone, somewhere, can help us.
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