Update: 21 April 2004
After the NHS decision to decline Alan’s application for overseas treatment, I put in a very strong appeal. I had found a policy document issuing guidelines for treatment outside of the UK and felt he fitted the criteria. This was backed up by a case I found on the internet from a solicitor in London who had won a case for Yvonne Watts, a woman who had treatment in Europe for a hip replacement operation, due to undue delay on the waiting list here. This has effectively opened the doors for other patients now, although it is not well known (of course).
I pursued Alan's appeal along these lines – that if a patient can be reimbursed fully by the NHS in Europe then why couldn’t it apply to other parts of the world?
To cut a long story short, we had a phone call this morning saying that the appeal has been dropped and that funding will be made available for the USA.
Hoooooooooorah! America, here we come!
We are now in correspondence with Richard Stein of Leigh, Day & Co., the solicitor who won the case for the woman with the hip problems to ensure that law protects patients to have the right to have surgery anywhere in the world if the NHS cannot provide the service.
We want to make it known that if anyone else out there reading this narrative is in the same situation as us (God forbid) that they can get in touch with us so we can help them achieve the same results.
IT CAN BE DONE!
My next update will surely be that Alan has had his operation and has returned to Merry Old England so that we can get on with our lives. This has been the most traumatic year for us, almost resulting in the breakdown of our ten-month-old marriage.
We have gone from newly married to ‘Death Row’. But now we have a chance to live. We’re not out of the woods yet; we still have to get to Chicago – and the biggest hurdle (the operation) is still ahead of us. But we feel we have achieved so much that we want to share it all and help others.
Thank you so much, Aneurysm Family. Without this Family Alan would die; of that I can be certain.