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Johannesburg - The Joburg woman who temporarily lost the use of her left leg while Discovery Health quibbled for weeks over whether to pay for her spinal surgery is on the mend.
The scheme eventually agreed to pay for Beverley Smith’s operation, and it went ahead at the end of last month.
“Every day there’s an improvement,” her husband Basil said on Wednesday.
Beverley began to experience severe pain in her lower back while on holiday with her husband in Scottsburgh, KZN, in June.
An MRI scan and X-ray at Life Bedford Gardens Hospital early last month revealed that a disc between the vertebrae had herniated (protruded through an abnormal bodily opening) into her spinal column and was squashing the spine and weakening the nerve root to her left leg.
Immediate surgery was recommended. However, Discovery would not authorise it, recommending instead that she undergo six months of “conservative treatment”, such as physiotherapy and medication.
But letters of motivation from her medical team, stating that Beverley needed urgent surgery to insert a U-device (an interspinosal stabiliser and fixator) in her spine and a decompression - and she being considered a premium minimum-benefits patient - the medical scheme still refused to authorise the surgery.
Smith said his wife was doing much better mentally and emotionally, but the trauma of the experience was something they weren’t likely to forgive or forget easily.
“I will never forgive them (Discovery) for what they did and put us through,” he said.