Winnipeg man nearly misses life-saving surgery due to clerical error

A Winnipeg man is feeling much better about his chances of survival after initially being told he might not get live-saving surgery in time.

Ian Le Clerc, 47, needs an aneurysm removed and a heart valve replaced, otherwise he might not live until the end of the month, according to his surgeon.

“He (the surgeon) said the surgery has to take place before the end of the month,” Le Clerc said. “If I chose not to have the surgery … I will die.”

Le Clerc had surgery scheduled for next Monday at St. Boniface Hospital, but was told this week at his pre-operation appointment he was not on the list and he’d have to wait until the new year.

“She explained to me that she didn’t know anything of the surgery date, that it definitely wasn’t happening next week,” Le Clerc said a staff member told him.

He said he spoke to several nurses and co-ordinators but was told by all he would not be going for surgery on the date he had confirmed with the surgeon.

Le Clerc said he was fearing for his life in the days that followed.

“It’s a scary situation,” he said. “Kind of more scared for my kids and my family.”

Shortly after Global News contacted the WRHA on Wednesday morning, Le Clerc received a phone call regarding his surgery.

“This co-ordinator, very nice on the phone, said, ‘I have some news for you.’ I said, ‘OK,’ sat down and I’m thinking, ‘OK it’s probably not going to happen until January,’” Le Clerc recalled.

“But then she said, ‘I have some good news, Dec. 17 is on again.”

While the WRHA said they can’t comment publicly on the cases of individual patients, it told Global News it invites patients with concerns to contact the hospital’s Patient Relations Office.

“We can advise that St. Boniface Hospital does work to triage patients on a daily basis, based upon urgency and need,” a spokesperson said in an email.

Le Clerc said he’s not upset with the hospital, but hopes no one else has to go through the same thing.

For now, he’s focused on a successful operation.

“I’m willing to battle and come back even stronger than I am now.”

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