Worthing woman 'in agony' after snapping collarbone and waiting almost two weeks for surgery

A Worthing woman has been left in ‘agony’ and unable to perform basic tasks after snapping her collarbone and waiting almost two weeks for surgery.

Maggie Zdonczyk broke her collarbone after going over the handlebars of her bike on September 5, shattering it in half

After visiting Worthing Hospital A&E, she was told five times there may be an operation slot open, only to be left disappointed. This morning (September 17), she had an arranged operation cancelled with just hours' notice.

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Maggie lives alone and has ‘been in tears’ every day for 12 days, unable to dress herself properly, shower or perform basic tasks. On top of it all, she was made redundant last month.

Maggie Zdonczyk and her X-ray

“I am in agony, everything’s so overwhelming – it’s all too much,” said Maggie, who fasted for up to 12 hours before each of her six potential operations.

“I know there is a lot of pressure with Covid and things but they are forgetting there are other people that are suffering.

“I have lost my job and I’m living on my own, so it’s all affecting me. I can’t go out and do any activities, I can’t go on my bike or go to the gym, I can’t do anything.

“Me sitting in on my own taking morphine every day is making me feel more vulnerable.”

Maggie's x-ray

As well as the constant pain, Maggie said she now fears the bone will start to heal incorrectly, leaving her permanently affected.

It has also derailed her attempts to find a new job as all she can focus on is getting through the day and hoping her arm will be fixed soon.

The pressure of coronavirus has meant hospitals across the country have understandably built up surgery backlogs and strains on their treatment capacities.

Worthing Hospital’s medical director, Tim Taylor, said he appreciated how difficult it can be for patients waiting on urgent surgery and apologised to Maggie for her experience.

“We always do our utmost to see patients as soon as possible, but it is also important we prioritise surgery in order to ensure the most urgent cases are seen first by the appropriate surgeon and theatre team,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we have seen an unusually high volume of trauma cases recently. This can mean some patients who have been put on stand-by for a procedure the next day are not called in due to a more serious case taking priority.

“There is an ideal operating window of two weeks for most fractures, although with some more complex breaks, such as hips, the first 36 hours are key to long term recovery and so we prioritise these patients.

“As widely reported, the Covid-19 pandemic has placed additional burdens upon NHS operating capacity, infection control procedures and staffing, but we wish to reassure our patients that we are doing all we can to treat people as swiftly and safely as possible.”