Cancer patient, Stephen Evans, had to remain in the quarantine of the hotel in Sydney despite doctor’s orders
A man who has just undergone surgery for stage four esophageal cancer is forced to remain in hotel quarantine, despite the fact that circumstances could ‘kill’ him.
Stephen Evans, from Broulee on the south coast of NSW, was granted an exemption to fly to Germany to undergo a highly specialized operation on June 23 that was not available in Australia.
On his return to Australia last Friday, the 55-year-old expected to recover and isolate the designated two weeks at his home.
The doctors of Mr. Evans sent two letters requesting that he be allowed to isolate immediately at home, but he was not granted an exemption by the NSW Ministry of Health.
The 55-year-old has been quarantined in a ‘filthy’ hotel in Sydney and says he is afraid of being exposed to life-threatening infections.
Stephen Evans, (photo) from Broulee on the south coast of NSW, was granted an exemption to fly to Germany to undergo a highly specialized operation that was not available in Australia on June 23
“I just got out of ICU five days ago, I’m already in huge pain,” Mr. Evans told Daily Mail Australia.
“I shouldn’t be here. Even catching a cold really makes me sick, otherwise I kill myself. ‘
Mr. Evans was diagnosed with cancer for the first time in April 2018, and since then half of his esophagus, a third of his stomach and parts of his lungs have been removed.
He has undergone chemotherapy for two and a half years, has had esophagus surgery and two lung operations.
His condition now requires him to sleep in a specially designed raised bed, and he can only eat specific foods.
The first few days of his stay at the hotel in Sydney, Mr. Evans was unable to eat and lost as much as eight pounds.
He also had to sleep upright in a chair because his condition puts him at risk of dying if he sleeps flat.
“It takes years to learn what to eat. Undergoing esophageal surgery is life-changing. One in twenty people die on the table, “he said.
“At this point, I should get well at home and feel good because I finally beat this vicious cancer.
Mr. Evans was diagnosed with cancer for the first time in April 2018 and since then half of his esophagus has been removed, a third of his stomach and part of his lungs
Mr. Evans said he lost 8 kg in the few days he was quarantined because he couldn’t eat any of the food because his condition requires him to follow a highly specialized diet
“I’m not saying anything to them. I’m just a statistic, they couldn’t give anything if I died here. ‘
Finally, Mr. Evans, who is quarantined with his caregiver, was given a frying pan so that he could prepare his own meals.
He said there would be “no risk” of spreading the virus if he contracted it when he went home, because he was physically unable to leave his property.
Instead, he spends his time recovering in a caravan tailored to his needs.
“I totally agree (with quarantining returned travelers) but in cases like mine I shouldn’t be here,” he said.
“These people are being treated like prisoners.”
He added that his room, on top of the burden of being stuck in the hotel, was “dirty”.
“This place is far from being a sterile place, there is dust on the TV. It would have been hard brushing, ”he said.
“I’m afraid to be in here, I can catch anything. How do I know who has been here? How do I know if someone had coronavirus before we got here?
He said that on top of the burden of being stuck in the hotel, his room was ‘filthy’ adding that the TV was covered in dust
“This place is far from being a sterile place, there is dust on the TV. It would have been hard brushing, ”he said
“I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
In letters from Mr. Evans’ doctors, seen by Daily Mail Australia, his oncologists described the severity of his condition.
“Stephen is immunosuppressive and thus has a high risk of COVID-19 infection and other opportunistic infections that he may be exposed to in a group isolation environment,” said a doctor.
“I am available to monitor his condition and his family is close by.
What is esophageal cancer?
Esophageal cancer is cancer of the esophagus
Symptoms include pain when swallowing, vomiting blood, abdominal discomfort and weight loss
Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption and poor nutrition are all risk factors
In 2016, there were 1338 deaths from the cancer in Australia
“I can’t emphasize enough the potential damage he is exposed to in his current environment.”
But despite the medical requests, the NSW Department of Health did not approve of Mr. Evans returning home.
A spokesman said the department was working to ensure the safety of the community.
“NSW Health recognizes that hotel quarantine can be difficult for individuals, but this is a necessary step that has been taken for the safety and health of all NSW citizens,” the spokesperson said.
NSW Health has established a dedicated team of senior clinicians to review any request for hotel quarantine waivers.
Applications for waivers are taken very seriously and any request that is not granted will be discussed in detail with each applicant.
“NSW Health and all other NSW cooperating government agencies are committed to making people’s stay in the hotel quarantine as comfortable as possible. Medical, mental and wellbeing support are available.
The health hotels are managed 24/7 by a team of medical, nursing and related health clinicians, and patients are also monitored by the virtual service that runs through the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA). Anyone who needs acute care in a hotel quarantine location is transferred to the hospital. ‘
Passengers arriving from Melbourne are greeted by NSW Health staff to check for COVID-19 symptoms at Sydney Airport