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Kitchener family still hasn’t spoken to health minister on 19-hour wait for emergency surgery


Ontario’s health minister publicly promised to reach out the family of a Kitchener teen who waited 19 hours for an emergency appendectomy, but as of Wednesday, she still hasn't spoken to her.

Julia Malott went public with her daughter Angelina Malott’s story last week, blaming the provincial government for the delay in getting the urgent procedure.

When CTV News asked Sylvia Jones about Malott’s experience at a news conference on Jan. 30, the health minister said she’d like to have a conversation with the family. The Malott’s said they never heard from Jones. 

CTV News reached out to the minister’s office Wednesday morning to ask why they hadn’t reach out to the family. Just over an hour after doing the interview with the Malotts, the ministry’s office responded to the family and set up a time to talk. 

An email from the Ontario Ministry of Health to Julia Malott on Feb. 7, 2024.

Emergency appendectomy

The Malott’s healthcare horror story started Jan. 28. Julia Malott brought 17-year-old Angelina to Kitchener’s St. Mary’s General Hospital because she was suffering from severe abdominal pain.

“I was curled up and I just remembered telling Julia that I wanted to stop – that I wanted to go home,” Angelina recalled.

The surgery to remove her appendix was successful.

More than a week later, Angelina is slowly recovering and is back in school.

“It comes and goes. Today I was in a bit more pain. Yesterday was a pretty good day,” she said.

The family waited 19 hours for the surgery, first at St. Mary’s General Hospital and then at Grand River Hospital where the procedure was ultimately performed.

“12 hours to confirm definitively that it was appendicitis and then from that point forward another seven hours before surgery began,” Julia explained.

Julia said while they were waiting they learned about how serious the condition can be.

“People can die from appendicitis, especially if there is a rupture,” Julia said.

Angelina Malott is in a wheelchair a day after her surgery. (CTV News/Jeff Pickel)

Health minister’s promise

Julia admitted to being surprised when Health Minister Jones responded to their story during the Jan. 30 press conference. That quickly turned into frustration when she never heard back from Jones.

Julia said she reached out to the minister’s office several times without getting anyone on the phone, however she did receive a campaign email from their office. 

“Now that she’s not under the gun in a press conference, there seems to be radio silence,” Julia said.

Before Jones’ responded on Wednesday afternoon, Angelina said their delay didn’t look good.

“As a politician, if you want people to trust you, then saying you’ll do something and then not doing that doesn’t really help,” she explained.

Angelina Malott is in a wheelchair a day after her surgery. (CTV News/Jeff Pickel)

More help needed

Julia is hopeful that the minister will continue to show interest in speaking with her family and improving healthcare for Ontarians but hopes it doesn’t take weekly follow-ups to make that happen.

Julia believes more needs to be done to help the healthcare system as whole as she realizes what happened to her daughter is not a unique case.

“The reason we have publicly funded healthcare is so that the system can advocate on your behalf. You can go there when there’s a problem and the system should be guiding you down the path you need to go,” Julia said. Top Stories

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