A Russian pensioner suffering from cancer performed an operation on herself because she was unable to get “timely” professional medical help, with doctors too busy dealing with Covid-19 patients, a paramedic revealed on Tuesday.
Writing on social media site VK, Victoria Shutova explained that the elderly woman in Vyborg, near St. Petersburg, was a survivor of the Second World War and had survived the Siege of Leningrad. The pensioner was found alongside a suicide note, written just in case the operation went wrong and there were doubts about who was responsible for her death.
She did, however, survive the medical intervention.
According to Shutova, the woman was unable to get medical help due to the current situation with the coronavirus, and had to perform the operation herself. She suffers from ascites, a condition in which fluid builds up in the abdomen, making any movement difficult, and attempted her own paracentesis.
“That is, making incisions with a thin knife along the anterior abdominal wall in order to drain fluid,” Shutova explained.
“She wasn’t sure about the operation. She’s not a doctor, so she wrote a suicide note so no one would think it wasn’t her,” the paramedic said. “Old people are the litmus test of society. If they operate on themselves in peacetime, it is a disaster.”
Shutova revealed that the woman has now been accepted into a hospital and is in need of palliative care to alleviate her suffering.
“Thanks to granny, we live in a world without fascism,” Shutova wrote. “Now, the main thing is not to become fascists yourselves.”
After the paramedic’s post received media attention, it also caught the eye of the local authorities, who have decided to do something about it. According to Irina Safonkina, a spokeswoman for the Leningrad regional government on social issues, the elderly veteran is receiving “all the necessary assistance.”
“The relatives have applied for help to the oncology centre in Pesochny,” Safonkina said.
In addition, the region’s Health Committee has revealed it is now carrying out an investigation into the situation. According to the government body, the planned operation did not take place because the elderly woman was diagnosed with the coronavirus, so the surgery had to be postponed.
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