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Justice at last for Sandi-Lee

Sandi-Lee Field and her son Lachlan. PHOTO/ALEYNA MARTINEZ

‘Don’t be scared, ask for help’

ALEYNA MARTINEZ
[email protected]

Colour has returned to Sandi-Lee Field’s face this week.

On Friday, she received the news that the Accident Compensation Corporation approved a new referral from her specialist Alex Dalzell.

Instead of a Chait tube, which was originally recommended to ACC, Field will now undergo surgery for an ileostomy bag on October 28.

Although getting the right surgery funded was a breakthrough for Field, “this is only the beginning”, she said.

It is going to be months of rehab with her physiotherapist.

Field lost feeling in her left foot after an antibiotic intramuscular injection, which hit her sciatic nerve and caused a spinal cord injury.

Field said she needed this surgery before she could be fitted for a foot brace.

“What I’m most looking forward to doing is vacuuming,” Field said.

She was also looking forward to joining in when the family got KFC, “or just eating without knowing it’s going to come back up”, Field said.

Field eats as minimally as possible, she said.

“One piece of fruit a day or a bit of chocolate and coffee to get me through,” she said.

Until her surgery at Southern Cross Hospital in Wellington, her family are heavily focused on boosting her health for surgery.

“Nutrition, sleep, water, hydration”, said Rachel Fenwick, Field’s stepmother.

This week, her eight-year-old daughter was taken out of school because of the stress the situation has put her under.

ACC chief operating officer Mike Tully said, “we’ve approved funding for the requested surgery and associated ongoing care and we’re working alongside Sandi-Lee to ensure she gets the support needed to manage and rehabilitate from her injuries”.

Field said she hoped ACC would include counselling for her children, especially her daughter.

Former National Party candidate Mike Butterick told Field “you’ve always got to remember it’s not your fault”.

“That’s been the whole issue from the outside looking in – Sandi-Lee has trusted the system to do the right thing and like most people you don’t like to ruffle feathers, but there’s been a whole break down in the process, the whole way along.

“All you’ve needed is someone to actually help you through the process [on the medical side] but that person hasn’t been there.”

Born and bred in Masterton, Field said she wanted to be a nurse before this ordeal.

But her new goals were to encourage others going through medical battles, not to be afraid to speak up and demand they feel they need if it is necessary.

With the funds from her Givealittle page, Field said she would pay for lawyers to rectify the gaps in the system she experienced.

“My biggest message is not to be scared to ask for help and if you need a voice, ask for one,” Field said.

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