Jamie Angus says he was a 15-year-old rugby player at Rutland Senior Secondary when his life changed.
“Took a big hit. Got hit by two guys, (my) body went two different ways,” Angus recalled.
Angus told Global News that he sustained a broken hip during the rugby hit.
“Apparently it popped out when it went back in,” said Angus. “That’s when the damage was done.”
At the time, Angus said his doctor told him he’d need a hip replacement when he got older. But in the years that followed, he developed a reliance on pain killers.
“The only thing that kept me going was codeine,” Angus admitted.
Now 50 years old, Angus says he suffers from a degenerative right hip that forces him to live in constant pain.
“The pain is incredible. It would kill people what I go through on a daily basis,” he said. “I need a new hip.”
However, Angus says his numerous requests for hip-replacement surgery have been refused because of his age.
“That I’m too young,” Angus said of what he’s been told.
“All they want to do is push prescription drugs on me, take this, take that. I refuse to; just fix what is broken,” Angus said.
Contacted by Global News, Interior Health said it books procedures based on referrals from surgeons.
“We appreciate the challenges this individual is facing,” said Karl Hardt, senior communications consultant for the Interior Health Authority.
“The decision to proceed with the surgery is separate from Interior Health.”
Hardt continued, saying “patients who have concerns about physician decisions related to their care can contact the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons, which will look into those concerns and support the patients directly.”
However, Angus says his situation is so painful, so dire that he is considering whatever it takes to get him some relief from the pain.
“Anything I have to … I’m at my wits’ end.”
For Angus, one option includes going to Mexico to have the procedure done.
That option, though, would cost $21,000 – a bill he’ll have to foot on his own.
“It’s not happening in my own province, my own country, my own city,” said Angus.
Notably, though, Angus received some good news on Thursday from a private clinic surgeon in Victoria who said he should get a new hip.
And he’s been placed on a waiting list for that surgery, which he hopes to get some time next fall.