Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Life on the List for Lyall, The Finale


In the eleventh hour on Sunday, November 29th, 2009 Lyall’s waiting comes to an end. Less than three weeks after his appointment with the Oncologists he succumbs to esophageal cancer. No more pain and suffering, no more medications, nebulizer or oxygen. No more waiting on any lists for health care.

Only a few days before, my husband gives his father a woven photo blanket of grandpa and his granddaughter. Lyall says it’s beautiful and a smile crosses his face. In his hand is a recordable greeting card which plays our daughter’s voice saying “I love you grandpa”. These small gifts contain a large dose of happiness just for him.

No more of Lyall’s music, especially his drumming. No more golfing, camping or watching old movies. No more wittiness, warm smiles or fuzzy wuzzy grandpa hugs and kisses. Only the memories we hold dear to our hearts and keep fresh in our minds.

The brevity of this story can only offer you a glimpse of life on the list for Lyall (Part I, Part II, Part III). I share these details with you to illustrate some of the problems with a government-run health care system and to remind you that it is the patients who bear the greatest cost for its failures. This story does not describe a unique situation, as waiting lists for specialists, diagnostic tests and surgeries are commonplace in the Canadian health care system, more so it attempts to provide some insight into what is truly lost in the numbers next to the life on the list.

We love you and miss you Lyall.

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