Washington man says pause in non-emergency surgeries could cost him his leg

SPOKANE, Wash.– Normally, on a day where Gary Sather’s son is running around, he would usually be running with him.

However, because of Providence’s pause in non-emergency surgery, he can’t.

“The mental impact of not being able to go places and do things, for myself for my family– and my brain needs something to do. I’ve always been that way, and it’s hard finding things to do when you can’t physically do them,” Sather said.

It’s because of a tumor he had years ago in his right leg is back.

“They did tell me it would likely come back. Actually, at that time, they wanted me to amputate my foot. I didn’t let them, ” he said.

This time around, however, it may cost him his leg.

“So fast forward, here we are now, and of course it’s back and they told me there’s some new treatments, some chemo I can get for it, if they were to operate soon,” he said.

His surgery, scheduled for earlier this month has been delayed twice. Now, it’s indefinitely postponed.

“It’s one thing to be told hey here’s a situation, you have to take it off versus here’s a situation, and there’s an opportunity here where that doesn’t have to happen, but we can’t give it to you because of COVID.”

Sather, like so many others, is left waiting. He’s frustrated by the consequences of other people’s decisions.

“It doesn’t seem fair that somebody can make a choice and a decision that affects other people and then turn around and jump to the front of the line when it comes to medical care,” he said. “Their freedom of choice to not wear a mask affects other people. It keeps other people from getting medical care. It keeps other people from being able to live normal lives.”

Sather is still left waiting for his surgery. No word yet when that will be scheduled.

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