Expensive surgery needed by London mom not covered by OHIP
Published Friday, March 1, 2019 5:02PM EST
Ten thousand dollars. That’s the price a London mother has to pay to surgically fix the pain and suffering caused by a condition not covered by OHIP.
“I’m just so hurt from hurting.”
The emotions say it all for mother Chelsea Killin who for more than two years has been fighting to have a surgery that would change her life.
“I want to be a better mother and a better wife to my husband and I want to be able to do the things I was able to do before I had my children.”
After giving birth to twins, Killin was diagnosed with a severe case of Diastasis Recti which causes abdominal muscle separation.
“So with my muscles right now they are basically here…they should be here, but they are way over here just standing up…when I lay down...everything kind of just falls open.”
Abdominal muscle separation after child birth is not uncommon but most mothers have a one to two inch gap at most that can be therapeutically treated.
Killin is the rare two per cent, she has a 12 inch gap in her abdomen which can only be fixed with surgery…a surgery not covered by OHIP.
Along with never-ending pain, Killin has a hard time lifting or holding her two children, which has led to depression.
“It’s a very serious situation for Killin it’s not just physical for her. Yes she’s in a lot of pain but it’s also a mental health issue as well,” says London Fanshawe MPP Teresa Armstrong.
Armstrong has been working to get the surgery appeal approved by the province, but has had no luck.
“There are many people like Chelsea who are fighting to get the medical procedures that they need and it is leading people to desperate measures.”
CTV News reached out to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to find out why this surgery isn’t covered by OHIP.
Spokesperson David Jensen said in his response, “The ministry considers the surgical treatment of Diastasis Recti to be solely for the alteration of appearance as Diastasis Recti on its own does not cause symptoms. While the loss of abdominal muscle tone may result in discomfort or back pain, the Diastasis alone does not cause these symptoms.”
But Killin says she’s living proof that her abdominal separation is a health concern, “I was recently in the hospital because I coughed and I had an organ pop out from under my ribs.”
Unable to risk any more medical complications, the family has taken out a $10,000 loan, which is the cost of the surgery.
In the meantime family friends have started a Go Fund Me page to help ease the financial burden.
“I shouldn’t have to suffer like this, no one should have to suffer like this,” Killin says.