Watch the video above: Canadian woman gets treatment in U.S. after doctors ‘gave up on her’
SASKATOON – A grandmother from Lloydminster, Sask. is receiving medical attention in an American hospital because she says her doctors gave up on her.
In 1976, Ann Noble gave birth to a son and was in dire need of a blood transfusion.
Unbeknownst to her, the supply she received had been tainted with Hepatitis C.
“My liver is scarred so badly and now I have cirrhosis,” said Noble, calling from Scottsdale, Arizona.
No longer able to work full-time, she says she’s spent more than a decade on preventative meds to keep the Hep C dormant.
After finding a specialist in Edmonton, an MRI was done and a cancerous tumor was found.
Noble says she was told she had a fast-growing form of cancer and she had three months left to live, so palliative care was her only option.
“I just left his office and I said thank you, but I’m not quitting,” said Noble.
She sought treatment in the United States where numerous tests were performed, including a biopsy, which she says had not been done in Canada.
“There was no fighting for me in Canada at all.”
“I’m right now going through TomoTherapy. It’s very isolated and from the scans they do, they can make a model of your tumor.”
Each day for three minutes, she receives treatment. After 14 sessions, both her liver and tumor have shrunk.
She still has another 14 sessions to go and medical fees to shoulder, including the cost of radiology, a biopsy and medication prescribed to her following aggressive chemotherapy.
Her family estimates the final bill for all of the procedures and medications she’s been on will total $100,000.
Noble’s family would like to see the government cover at least some of the cost.
While prior approval isn’t required for most hospital and physician services in other provinces, it is required for out-of-country elective coverage.
Noble says she has applied for some degree of compensation from the government, including Indian affairs, but the answer has so far been ‘no.’
For now she is looking to complete her radiation therapy, spend Christmas at home and resume treatment south of the border in the new year.
Friends and loved ones started ‘Ann’s Liver for Life Fund’ online. Money raised from web donations and community events now totals approximately $75,000 and the family plans to continue their efforts through the holiday season.