Skip to main content

Kitchener, Ont. family meets with health minister after 19-hour wait for emergency surgery


A month after Ontario's health minister said she’d talk with the Kitchener family who waited 19 hours for an emergency appendectomy surgery, the promised meeting finally happened.

The Malott family first shared their story with CTV News on Jan. 30.

At a press conference that same day, Sylvia Jones pledged to speak with them about their experience earlier this year.

However, the Malott’s experienced another delay – this time in hearing from Jones’ office.

CTV News reached out to the minister a week after she promised to meet with the family.

Her office contacted the Malott’s later that day to set up a time to talk, and on Monday, it finally happened.

“It was just really nice to hear her and her team’s thoughts on where health care in Ontario stands,” said Julia Malott, whose teen daughter, Angelina Malott, had to wait for the surgery. “I’m disappointed that the Ontario health care system is where it is. And that was a message I really tried to deliver to the minister.”

Julia said they discussed the system’s successes, as well as where the weak points are, referring to the lengthy wait her daughter endured.

“She really acknowledged that shouldn’t happen,” Julia said. “She was pretty forthcoming in some areas where she saw there are improvements to be made.”

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

The biggest topic of discussion was the long wait times at Ontario hospitals.

“One thing [Jones] really highlighted was the triage that takes place in emergency departments in terms of the number of cases that come forward to emergency departments that maybe could be handled elsewhere,” Julia explained. “And just the inability of those hospitals, in terms of how they’re often set up, to really handle the triage of it.”

In the Monday meeting, Julia and Angelina did not get an apology. But, they said, that wasn’t what they wanted to happen.

“I wouldn’t say that’s what we were looking for either, in the sense of, we’re not blaming anybody for this. One takeaway we’ve had that’s been really encouraging has been how much the system has reached out to us,” Julia said. “We don’t blame the hospital. We don’t blame the minister either. We blame 30 years of how health care has been handled in this province, which spans many different administrations. And I think we represent most Ontarians.”

CTV News reached out to the Jones and her office to see how the meeting went from their perspective.

A spokesperson confirmed the meeting happened and said “Minister Jones, Julia and her daughter had a very productive conversation.”

Encouraging the next generation

St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener also reached out to the family. It was one of two hospitals Angelina visited before her surgery in January.

Julia said she plans on meeting with their representatives to find a way to support Angelina. A couple weeks ago, Angelina was accepted into a post-secondary nursing program set to start in September. One day, she told CTV News, she wants to become an emergency care nurse.

“After my experience in the hospital, I was worried about where our health care sits currently,” Angelina explained. “I still have my concerns, but the conversations we had [Monday] does make me feel better about where we’re going.”

In terms of how Angelina is doing post-surgery, she’s still not at 100 per cent recovered.

“I’m still very tired, and I’m still a little bit sore. Aside from that, I feel pretty good. I mean, the experience overall was kind of scary. So I think I still have some of those effects,” Angelina said.

Meeting with the minister gave her a glimmer of hope during her road to recovery, as well as her journey to improve Ontario’s health care system. Top Stories


BUDGET 2024 Feds cutting 5,000 public service jobs, looking to turn underused buildings into housing

Five thousand public service jobs will be cut over the next four years, while underused federal office buildings, Canada Post properties and the National Defence Medical Centre in Ottawa could be turned into new housing units, as the federal government looks to find billions of dollars in savings and boost the country's housing portfolio.

'I Google': Why phonebooks are becoming obsolete

Phonebooks have been in circulation since the 19th century. These days, in this high-tech digital world, if someone needs a phone number, 'I Google,' said Bridgewater, N.S. resident Wayne Desouza.

Stay Connected