David Jensz frustrated by surgery delays as South Australian borders remain closed

David Jensz. Picture: ALEXANDER DARLING
David Jensz. Picture: ALEXANDER DARLING

DAVID Jensz can barely walk.

The Nhill, in Victoria's Wimmera region, resident is awaiting an increasingly urgent hip replacement, but has had the surgery delayed twice since it was initially scheduled in March.

Mr Jensz's condition, meanwhile, has seriously deteriorated.

He takes strong painkillers to help him sleep every night and is frustrated by being stuck in his house.

"It would've been okay if I had of got it done back in March. I wasn't getting around very well, but I was coping," Mr Jensz said.

"But it's really gone pear-shaped since.

"Sleeping is very hard at times, and the only way I'm getting around is on crutches.

"There's just not a lot you can do. I can't get out in the garden, or paint my living room, or do the things you want to.

"The longer you wait, the more frustrating it gets."

Mr Jensz said the situation had taken a toll on his mental health.

"You have good days and you have bad days," he said.

"Tomorrow I might be down in the dumps, but today I woke up feeling not too bad.

"It's a roller coaster. You're really up and down. But what can you do?"

Mr Jensz's surgery has since been booked for August.

But with South Australia deciding not to reopen the border on July 20, the 63-year-old said it is hard to believe that the appointment will go ahead.

The Nhill Hospital.

The Nhill Hospital.

"Now I've got the date (for the appointment), I don't want to answer the phone, because the next phone call might say that we have to postpone it again," Mr Jensz said.

"The way things are going in Melbourne right now, at this stage, I'm not real confident."

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has called for the restrictions to be lessened for border communities, while West Wimmera Health Service has called on the South Australian government to allow specialist exemption.

"There should be flexibility with closing the border," a West Wimmera Health Service spokesperson said.

"We are in a low-risk area of the state.

"Why continue to delay critical services for an already aging population?"


Mr Jensz however said instead of feeling sorry for himself, he was trying to keep things in perspective.

"There's a lot of people out there that are suffering," he said

"I feel really sorry for the small businesses in our region, and people struggling to make a livelihood.

"You want to be selfish and just tell them to let the surgeon through, but ... we could muck it up for other states.

"You have to look at the bigger picture.

"The lucky thing for me is we've got a community that really does care."

Mr Jensz said he was thankful to have family close by to keep him company, especially his wife Denise.

"She's a bloody saint," he said.

"She's had to put up with the ups and downs, and there's probably more downs. If I didn't have her here I don't know what I'd be doing.

"I'm blessed to have the people I have around me.

"I came out one day and my neighbour was out here pruning my roses for me.

"Things like that, when you're down in the buggery and someone does something like that, you can think, 'Life's not that bad'.

"I just hope to buggery they get the borders open, because I'm really, really, really ready for it."

The health service hosts consultations by doctors from Wakefield Orthopaedic Clinic and Adelaide Digital Hearing Solutions among other South Australian medical centres.

This story Immobilised Jensz frustrated by surgery delays first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.