Fermanagh patient’s 25-hour wait for emergency surgery

A FERMANAGH man who recently required emergency surgery has spoken of his horrible experience of travelling to Derry and waiting over 24 hours to be treated for a condition his doctor had deemed to be very urgent.

The man, who stressed he was not normally the type to contact newspapers with complaints, got in touch with the Herald after reading stories of others experiencing similar problems, since the withdrawal of emergency general surgery (EGS) from the SWAH.

“I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing it for maybe somebody else who’s coming behind me, in the hope they might not have to go through the same experience,” he said.


The local man explained he had developed extreme pain at the beginning of a recent weekend, however, he tried to endure it. By Tuesday he could no longer stand it, describing it as “pure agony”, and contacted his GP.

The GP diagnosed him with a condition that is not only extremely painful, but also potentially very dangerous as it can cause sepsis if not operated on urgently.

“My GP examined me and said you’re in a bad way, you’re for immediate surgery,” he said. “I was nearly crying, I was in that much pain.”

The GP told the man the protocol set up since the removal of EGS from the SWAH required him to call ahead to the surgeon in Altnagelvin so he could send him straight to the Derry hospital. However, despite the repeated calls for the doctor, no one picked up the phone.

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