A HIP replacement may be considered elective surgery, but for Zuvele Leschen it’s anything but.
At 52, the Buffalo River resident’s quality of life has diminished significantly since being told a year ago she needed the surgery.
Once an active and vibrant member of the community, she now struggles with everyday tasks and can’t even travel as far as Albury on the weekends to watch her son play football.
The pain she suffers each day is constant and the medication she must take for it makes her foggy and unable to concentrate.
Ms Leschen had to sell her family’s horses as their upkeep was too much for her and simple pleasures, like gardening, are impossible.
She feared it would be at least another year before she could return to work, which means her teaching career was “shot”, while she’s also had to give up politics.
“Basically everything that’s been my life for the past 30 years, I can’t do any more,” she said.
Up until recently, all indications were Ms Leschen would soon be scheduled for surgery. But she was unexpectedly told last week that it would be at least another year.
She was told she may be able to be moved up the list by being reassessed, however that course of action sat uneasy with her, knowing her situation was not unique.
“I don’t care who it is (waiting for surgery),” she said. “If any person, regardless of age, has the chance of spending their life in more comfort then why should they be denied that?”