Desperate hernia patient gains some hope

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 13/11/2012
John Rankin
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ

SECOND OPINION: John Rankin is relieved his hernia may be able to be operated on after all.

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John Rankin's days spent "pushing" a hernia back into the hole it regularly escapes from could soon be over - he hopes.

Mr Rankin, 65, was back in Timaru Hospital at the weekend due to the painful hernia he has endured since late last month.

The hernia is near the site of the stoma, or opening, that connects his bowel to a colostomy bag.

Due to its proximity, the hernia pops out three to four times a week. Mr Rankin said he was told by numerous surgeons at Timaru Hospital that the only way to deal with the hernia was to "push it back in". However, he returned to hospital in severe pain last weekend and has since learned that the hernia should be repairable - according to a specialist in Christchurch.

He said the specialist who assessed a CAT scan of the hernia, taken at the weekend, said there was "absolutely no reason at all" why it could not be operated on.

"They say everything is in its place. In the meantime I've got to just sit down and keep pushing my hernia back in."

The hernia has "popped out" at least four times since the Herald initially met Mr Rankin on October 29.

He said pushing it back in was only a temporary solution.

"It just doesn't stay in. I can push it back in, but after a while it just starts to come out again."

Mr Rankin said due to his ill health he is now under the mental health system.

"I was just so depressed."

Mr Rankin has laid a complaint with the South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) on the matter.

However, he has not heard back from the DHB yet.

The surgeon was not available for comment yesterday.

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- The Timaru Herald

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