Marlene and Alan Fawk of Valrico are a couple that have had to put off a procedure because of the pandemic. Alan had to have surgery on his cervical spine.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us many new challenges in recent months, but those experiencing the most challenges are people who have had to put off a surgery or procedure because of it.

Marlene and Alan Fawk of Valrico have been affected by this issue.

“Alan had to have surgery on his cervical spine,” Marlene said.

“The surgery was scheduled for August 25 of this year. While Alan was at the surgeon’s office finalizing everything for the procedure, the surgeon told him he would have to postpone his procedure because the surgeon was notified that the hospital was shutting down for elective surgeries due to COVID,” she said. “Alan was told he would be put first on the list when they got the clear to do elective surgeries.”

The couple was very frustrated because of this set back, but understood that this was for everyone’s safety. They also became concerned that waiting for this procedure to be done could also cause other health issues for Alan.

“People have to put off a procedure or surgery that would benefit them because the hospitals are closed, and in the meantime they are staying home and waiting, but when it’s time to have the original procedure, something else has happened to their body that has to be taken care of, so now the patient has not just one problem they’re dealing with, they have to have something else done while they suffer from the original health issue,” Marlene said.

The other issue the couple faced, as did many other people in their position, was not being able to be with their loved one at the hospital while they were undergoing a surgery or procedure.

“You can’t be there to hold their hand as they are waking up from their surgery,” Marlene said. “You can’t be there to comfort them. You are just allowed to park the car, walk them up to the front door, if you’re lucky. You then give them a quick hug and kiss through a mask and they are left alone to go through the procedure alone while you wait at home for a call from a nurse.”

Alan and Marlene are thankful that he will be having his surgery very soon and look forward to getting back to spending time with their grandchildren.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.