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Enough is enough: Annie Lévesque’s story

Enough is enough: Annie Lévesque’s story

Annie Lévesque, 42, is the mother of two teenagers. Diagnosed with osteoarthritis at 18 and rheumatoid arthritis at 32, she can barely walk a kilometre today. 

In March 2020, at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Annie’s doctor informed her that she had to undergo a joint replacement of both hips. “When I first learned of the one-year wait time for my surgery, I was surprised and felt extremely discouraged,” she says. Since then, the delays for joint replacements have increased exponentially because of the pandemic. Annie’s hip replacement wait time may extend from one to two years.

The impact of these delays is significant for Annie and so many other Canadians like her. “Having my surgery put on pause is disastrous for me,” she says. “If we have to keep waiting, there are many people in pain like me who may not have the health to undergo surgery when the time finally comes.”

In addition to the pain and lack of mobility she lives with every day, Annie also has to deal with the financial impact the delay is causing. The cost of pain relievers, treatments, medications, task assistance and day-to-day adjustments continues to add up.

After attending a webinar about delayed surgeries offered by the Arthritis Society, Annie felt inspired and empowered to speak out. She has joined voices with 4,000 other Canadians who have called on the provincial and federal governments to find solutions to joint replacement delays affecting people with osteoarthritis. 

With your support, the Arthritis Society will keep advocating provincial and federal governments to prioritize joint replacement surgeries and reduce the unacceptable wait times for Canadians like Annie. Learn more at arthritis.ca/advocacy.