1492920924927 - Poppy Day money helps soldier’s wife fight for life-changing surgery

Poppy Day money helps soldier’s wife fight for life-changing surgery

Poppy Day funds have helped a Canterbury soldier’s wife get life-changing surgery.

The woman, who did not want to be named, was in a legal battle with ACC over whether it should pay for her surgery.

She had an operation for endometriosis in 2013, and developed a post-operative infection.

​While draining the infection, her bowel was perforated.

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“I almost died, unfortunately.”

The woman recovered, but her fallopian tubes became blocked, causing a lot of pain.

She said ACC would not accept the problem was a result of medical misadventure, and would not cover the surgery to fix it.

“I had to get a lawyer involved, which obviously cost thousands of dollars.”

One of her husband’s friends from his deployment in Afghanistan told the couple they might be able to get a grant from the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA).

They got in contact with the welfare officer at Papanui RSA.

“He kindly, very very kindly, allowed us to have some money to fund the lawyer’s fees.”

The $3500 grant covered the fees and the case was set to go to district court. In October, ACC overturned its decision following an external review by Fairway Mediation, before the case went to court. 

“I had my surgery in December and I’m now working full-time, so I’m happy.”

The woman said without the grant for legal fees, she “wouldn’t have known where to start” to take on ACC by herself.

“We would still be saving for it now.”

The medical complications meant the woman could not get pregnant naturally, but thanks to the surgery the couple could now begin in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment to try have a child.

“The RSA are really great at not just looking after the soldier, but the soldier’s family,” the woman said.

“It’s completely flipped our lives around, that we’re basically a normal couple again.”