Three weeks ago, 28 year old Alicia Lucas from Pukekohe died after a long, frustrating 18 month ordeal of unexplained stomach pains, tests, specialist appointments, doctors, scans and waiting lists. Nobody had any answers for her, or a diagnosis, only empty apologies.
Alicia’s husband Jay, and their families were left devastated after the untimely death of Alicia in the early hours of Monday morning, 16 April, 2018, following health complications.
Eighteen months ago, Alicia had what was supposed to be a straightforward Caesarean section.
It was anything but that. What followed was a marathon of trips back and forth to GPs, ambulances to hospital and specialists doing a whole range of tests.
Alicia was waiting for a procedure she hoped would finally answer why she was suffering so much. That procedure, a laparoscopy would finally give the doctors an opportunity to see into her abdomen and identify the issues she was facing.
Eventually, on 22 November 2017, a referral was made for the laparoscopy which had a waiting list of four months.
Alicia was informed that if the DHB did not give her an appointment within the four month period, she should call back and check with the DHB. The official end date of the four months was reached on 23 March 2018.
On 6 April 2018, after failing to receive an appointment within the allotted time frame, Alicia rang to find out what was happening with her appointment and was informed it was ‘not yet set and she would need to carry on waiting’.
It was only ten days after this call, that Alicia passed away.
Alicia and Jay, her husband, had been pinning their hopes on the laparoscopy to finally answer why she had endured 18 months of pain and why, after her C-Section, she hadn’t recovered. During this time, Alicia and Jay were also put under tremendous financial stress as she was unable to work due to her ill health. According to the family, WINZ did not assist them as Jay apparently earned too much. Family and friends, at times, came to their aid by buying them food and paying some bills.
After her death, Alicia underwent a full forensic autopsy which when released, will hopefully give the family some much needed answers.
This is a sad loss of life, it is our hope that Alicia’s story will move the DHB, Government and doctors to do more, to listen more and perhaps invest more.
The family would like to thank Pukekohe St John and the local Fire Brigade for their assistance.
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