Rhona & George Elias

Hello Dr. Saul Frenkiel,

I am writing to you in hope that you will be able to transfer the procedure of the cochlear implant operation to take place in Montreal. It is appalling to me why the minister of health does not allow this procedure to take place in Montreal & keeps it exclusive to Quebec city.

I would like to give you some background on our recent experience. My husband, George Elias, was operated for a cochlear implant on September 2015 in Quebec City.

This procedure began about a year prior. We had to take two separate trips to Quebec City to meet with the audiologist on the first trip and the rehab centre on the second trip. To be honest, this was all repetitive of what the Mackay Centre had already explained. My husband and I still work full time and this was a huge inconvenience to take time off our jobs with a loss of pay. The Mackay Centre is so professional and have great expertise in this field and they had already explained it all.

We then waited approximately one year for the surgery date. Once again we had to travel to Quebec City where we had to remain for three days. Once again this meant time off from our jobs and again a lack of pay. There is also a huge expense involved with this procedure which include both the travel and living expenses of lodging and food. With all due respect to the team in Quebec City, they were very professional and I am grateful for their professionalism. My complaint is not against them. The other immense problem is the lack of medical backup on return to Montreal. In the first week post surgery my husband experienced a very bad case of vertigo causing him extreme dizziness as well as tinnitus in the ear. There was no one in Montreal to turn to. After an operation you only have confidence in the doctor who performed the surgery, and we felt very insecure during this time of recuperation. When my husband visited the CLSC to remove his bandages the nurse stated to him that she had never seen a cochlear implant patient before. How do you think this made him feel? Very nervous is all I can say.

A month following the surgery, once again he must return to Quebec City for 2 weeks of rehabilitation. Once again this is a huge expense as well as huge inconvenience. It is necessary for me as his wife to accompany him. Again we are absent from work with a loss of salary. If this whole procedure took place at the Mackay Centre we would have been able to continue our regular routine. We know that the Mackay Centre is completely capable of carrying out this rehab procedure. Hence let me also mention the difficulty of dealing in French with English being our mother tongue.

Dr. Frenkiel I surely hope with determination and perseverance you can have this procedure done in Montreal.

Thank you so much for your future efforts.

Rhona Elias.