Edmonton man alarmed that daughter forced to undergo surgery in Mexico

Edmonton man alarmed that daughter forced to undergo surgery in Mexico

A beach vacation took a frightening turn for an Edmonton family, with the situation getting worse because all the hospitals in the Alberta capital were too busy to help.

It all started when Curtis Stock and his family went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a 10-day vacation.

While he was in the Mexican resort area, his 25-year-old daughter, Maia, began to feel ill.

“On the second day, Maia complained of pain in her leg. We took her to the resort’s doctor and the doctor took a look at her leg and sent her to the Puerto Vallarta Hospital for emergency care,” Stock told CTV News Edmonton.

The pain turned out to be from a flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis.

Stock said doctors told Maia if the bacteria spread to her bones, she could lose her leg or even die.

“She had been so good and so happy the day before, and for that to change so quickly was incredible,” he recalled.

An ambulance was on standby for Maia to be taken back to Edmonton for emergency surgery, but Stock said that didn’t happen because the family were told there was no room for her in the hospital.

Stock returned to Edmonton while Maia’s mother stayed with her.

Due to patient confidentiality, Alberta Health Services declined to comment specifically on the case, but a spokesman said patients could only be taken home if resources are available to care for them.

“When a family requests an overseas transfer and the patient is stable enough to be transferred, we will do our best to work with the family and health insurance companies to repatriate patients to Alberta,” AHS’s Kristi Bland wrote in an opinion.

“However, an AHS facility can only accept if it has available resources to provide care. Our hospitals continue to face significant capacity challenges due to an ongoing rise in respiratory illnesses and the number of patients that need to be admitted for care.”

Maia has had three leg surgeries in Mexico. Doctors removed the bacteria to keep it from spreading, Stock said.

He knew Alberta hospitals were busy, but couldn’t believe there wasn’t room for his daughter to have the surgeries in Edmonton.

“The easy part should have gotten her into a hospital, but there wasn’t a single bed in Edmonton that could have taken her,” he said.

“Incredible, you just can’t believe this is possible. She was sick. She also had pneumonia.”

He is looking forward to having his daughter back home and said that will likely happen in a few days after Maia was discharged from hospital.

Stock said it was an important reminder to get travel insurance, but shook his head in frustration and said “apparently nothing can be done” when asked about the state of Alberta’s hospitals.

With files from Jessica Robb of CTV News Edmonton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *