Young mum, 23, suffering from debilitating pain, denied potentially life-changing surgery after being told she was ‘too young’
Young mum in chronic pain seeks surgery Drew Khan, 23, canceled her operation after she needed a hysterectomy to ease the pain after being told she was ‘too young’ for surgery.
A young mother who has battled debilitating pain for years is now battling the health system for potentially life-changing surgery.
Drew Khan has fought women’s health issues for years; Hit puberty at age 9, became pregnant with her daughter at age 14, and had multiple miscarriages and a failed pregnancy before her son was born.
It was then that he began to suffer from chronic pain, his struggles pushing him to a surgeon.
‘I have endometriosis, I have ovarian cysts and I have many organs – my bowel, my ovaries, my bladder and uterus – all stuck together,’ Ms Khan told A Current Affairs.
Drew Khan (pictured) is pleading with the Mid North Coast Local Health District to allow him to undergo surgery
He tried a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine, pain medication and surgery, none of which relieved the pain.
The 23-year-old takes a daily cocktail of painkillers to get by, including 14 Endones, 20 tapentadol and morphine tablets per week.
The pain can often leave him wheelchair bound.
‘If I don’t take painkillers, I’m in hospital,’ she said.
Her doctors say a hysterectomy is the solution to her pain, but just days before her surgery, Coffs Harbor Hospital called Ms Khan to say the operation would not be carried out.
‘At first it was, ‘You’re too small’, then it was, ‘We don’t believe there was uterine pain’. Now a letter says, ‘We do not believe we have explored all the ways to manage your pain’, Khan said.
Mrs Khan and her family were devastated by the decision, with her daughter Elena on the verge of tears when she spoke about it.
‘I feel like holding him tight until he’s better. I don’t want to see her struggle every moment of my life,’ he said.
Pain often leaves Ms Khan (pictured) with no choice but to use a wheelchair
One of the reasons behind the decision to cancel the surgery was that she wanted more children in the future, as a hysterectomy would prevent that.
However, Ms Khan said she knew what she was getting herself into, having already had her tubes tied.
‘Give me my choice of what I want to do with my body. It is my right. I want to do better for my kids and for myself,’ she said.
A spokesperson for the Coffs Harbor Hospital Local Health District apologized in a statement to the program for the ‘suffering of this patient due to the cancellation of a planned surgical procedure’.
‘Mid North Coast Local Health District met with patients and their partners and consulted a number of experts in the field, including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists,’ they said.
‘The District continues to provide support and advice to patients and their partners regarding further treatment, pain management and surgical options.’