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With a ban on elective surgeries, some people have been waiting for weeks in pain

With a ban on elective surgeries, some people have been waiting for weeks in pain
Posted at 7:39 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 19:39:01-04

CAPE CORAL — It’s been almost a month since Governor DeSantis banned elective surgeries in hospitals, to make sure they had room to treat COVID-19 patients, but some people have now been spending that entire time waiting in pain.

Ronnie Koncz has a bum knee. He needs a replacement, but with the ban in place, no one will take him.

“There’s times I sit up at night, I can lay in bed and cry because of what I’m going through," said Koncz.

His knee causes him constant pain, but his doctor said, right now, there’s no cure.

“He said Ron, he goes, I can’t get you in a hospital. They will not allow us elective surgeries in any of the hospitals," said Koncz.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Governor also closed down the restaurant his wife worked at.

“I went from one job to two jobs to no jobs real fast," said Julie Koncz.

With neither of them working, and rent they still need to pay on their house, Ronnie is dreading May 1st.

"Now we’ve got to face that we might possibly eventually be evicted," said Koncz.

But Koncz said, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are open beds at Lee Health hospitals, and CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci confirmed that on a conference call Wednesday.

“Our current bed capacity is at 57%, with 8% of those being COVID-19 patients… We take precautions to separate those with symptoms of COVID-19 to ensure that patients coming with other illnesses or injuries are not exposed to the virus," said Dr. Antonucci.

Koncz said he thinks the Governor’s order is too broad, and localities should be allowed to decide whether or not he should be allowed to get a surgery that could bring him relief.

“I understand there are people out there who are dying, but there’s also people out here that need help, not just to be ignored," said Koncz.

Right now, the ban on elective surgeries is set to expire on April 30th, but it could be extended longer if the Governor thinks it needs to be.