Shelagh Brennan and her husband, Bryan Frazer, with their dogs Maggie and Perla. Her kidney transplant is among 30,000 non-urgent procedures placed on hold in B.C. because of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley woman awaiting kidney transplant ‘over the moon’ at elective surgery announcement

Her operation was cancelled when province put elective surgeries on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic

Shelagh Brennan was “over the moon” to hear elective surgeries will be resuming in B.C., but given the size of the backlog, the Murrayville resident doubts she will have her kidney transplant any time soon.

While she has undergone the necessary tests, her young brother Kevin, who has offered to be her donor, has not been tested yet.

“As it stands right now, my brother is the only one who has offered to donate,” Brennan explained.

“My chart is up to date, we just need the transplant nephrologist to sign off on it,” she told the Langley Advance Times.

Her surgery was put on hold when the provincial government cancelled elective surgeries on March 16th to free up beds and staff for an expected surge in coronavirus patients in need of acute care.

Brennan’s surgery was considered elective because she can use dialysis, which requires her to be hooked up to a machine twice a week.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

On Thursday, May 7th, Premier John Horgan and health minister Adrian Dix announced elective surgeries were starting back up.

By May 18, 2020, an estimated 30,000 non-urgent scheduled surgeries will have either been postponed or left on a wait-list due to COVID-19, they estimated.

Dix and Horgan said the government hopes to clear the existing COVID-19 backlog over the next “17 to 24 months.”

READ ALSO: Outbreak puts Langley woman’s kidney transplant on hold

Brennan’s kidneys abruptly failed for unknown reasons last fall.

She went from leading a healthy and active life, where she was able to go skydiving in the summer of 2019 to celebrate her 65th birthday, to requiring dialysis twice a week after her kidneys shut down by mid-December.

READ MORE: Langley woman hopes for donor after sudden kidney failure

She and her husband, Bryan Frazer, have tried to stick close to home other than their medical appointments and socially-distant walks.

She said she especially misses her face-to-face visits with her 91-year-old mother Joan Brennan, who resides in a Delta independent living facility.

“We talk every day [by phone],” Shelagh said.

“She’s my rock. I really miss her.”

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