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'Slowly starving to death': Sask. woman waiting to see gastroenterologist says she can't eat

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Yorkton, Sask. -

A Yorkton woman said she has run out of options after hearing it will take up to a year to see a gastroenterologist in Saskatchewan.

After experiencing a hiatal hernia back in August, Cherise Trott received surgery to put her stomach back in place while also having her gallbladder removed.

Since then, Trott said she has been experiencing extreme pain.

“I can't live like this for another year, I can’t," Trott said tearfully.

"I feel like I'm slowly starving to death, I can't eat. Almost everything I eat comes up, everything, either that or it doesn't reach my stomach, it sits in my esophagus right here."

Although Trott was told gastrointestinal symptoms would occur three to five months after the surgery, she said the pain continued to increase.

Based on her family doctor’s recommendation, Trott reached out to a gastroenterology clinic for help, but was told the waiting period could be up to a year long.

"From surgery, they told me that it would be a three to five month recovery time, but I'm getting worse by the week,” Trott said.

“Every single time I eat, about half an hour to about an hour, sometimes it’s immediately, I get these sharp pains through my ribcage. It almost feels like I’m having a heart attack, I lay in fetal position waiting for it to go away because nothing makes it better.”

A letter from her doctor states that Trott is, “Suffering from significant gastrointestinal symptoms which failed to improve despite surgeries and medical therapy.”

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health told CTV News that as of January 2024, the average wait time to see a gastroenterologist is 143 days as there are 18 specialists across the province.

In a statement, the ministry said that “physicians own and operate their clinics as independent businesses and are responsible for assessing/prioritizing their patient’s needs and treatment options."

Trott explained that she is not able to eat anything and is not sure how much longer she can live in her current condition.

"I'm a huge foodie. I love food, I love cooking for people, everyone loves my cooking so not being able to enjoy that anymore is really hard,” she said while wiping tears from her eyes.

“My existence is really hard."

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