Fun loving Hawke’s Bay great-grandma fears she has become ‘miserable old git’

Elaine Morgan, 89, dreads waking up and getting out of bed.

She knows as soon as she puts her leg on the floor to support her weight, the accompanying pain will be so bad, it can bring tears to her eyes.

Morgan has been limping on a kneecap broken in three places, for over two years, after the injury was misdiagnosed by an orthopedic registrar in December 2018 while she was on morphine, which masked the true extent of the injury.

“I have been turned from a gym-loving, ballroom/disco dancer, often feeding and running elderly around, a fun-loving great-grandma, with the children staying with me, to a miserable, useless, bent old git, probably not fit for surgery now.”

Morgan has complained to the DHB that the misdiagnosis resulted in ACC rejecting her claim for an operation, and that she is yet to have surgery to fix her knee.

A DHB spokesperson said the DHB had been corresponding with Morgan and she is on an elective waiting list to have her knee operation.

“She will receive formal notification of a scheduled operation date in July in the coming weeks.

“Mrs Morgan has raised some concerns to the DHB, which the DHB would like todiscuss and address with her in person.

“The DHB has contacted her regarding these issues and is in the process of arranging a meeting with her and surgical team leaders.”

Morgan said she had requested a face-to-face discussion, as she was unhappy with the DHB’s initial responses.

In March, Health and Disability advocate Nadja McKellow sent an email to the DHB on Morgan’s behalf.

It summarised Morgan’s predicament:”Following an injury to her knee and an initial missed diagnosis, Mrs Morgan has had multiple assessments advising she requires knee replacement surgery.

“The surgery will not be covered by ACC due to the initial incorrect diagnosis,” McKellow said.

“Mrs Morgan has spent two years receiving conflicting information about her treatment, has had no pain management plan, and no confirmed date for when the surgery will take place.”

Morgan said she had more than two years ”taken away, that’s precious time I could have spent with my great-grandchildren”.

“I have had many a fall now, because my knee gives way, I have many bruises, and I dread waking up in the morning because the pain makes me scream.”

In the email, McKellow said the ” orthopedic registrar’s assessment in December 2018 did not provide an accurate diagnosis of her injury as she had recently taken morphine and the assessment was very brief”.

“ACC declined to cover knee replacement surgery due to the original assessment
completed by the registrar.

“She believes, if she would have been properly assessed in the beginning, this could
have all been avoided.”

In May, McKellow once again raised Morgan’s concerns with the DHB as she felt their initial response did not address all of her concerns, including pain management and post-surgery recovery.

“Yes, I am aware that I was put on the waiting list in December, two years after I injured my knee, and two years since an exhausted orthopaedic registrar got wrong how damaged the knee was,” Morgan said.

“Since injuring my knee there has not been one morning I haven’t dreaded getting out of bed.

“I have tried so hard to keep going and doing some exercises. I would still like a face-to-face.”

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