Alberta father dies from heart attack after COVID-19 cancelled his “non-essential” pacemaker operation

Alberta father dies from heart attack after COVID-19 cancelled his “non-essential” pacemaker operation

A 46-year-old man in Alberta has tragically passed away after a heart attack, with one Alberta lawyer saying it was the result of his inability to get a medically necessary pacemaker due to COVID-19 cancellations.

John Carpay, a lawyer with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, told the tragic story of Jerry Dunham of Medicine Hat, Alberta on the JCCF website.

According to Carpay, who has been documented those impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns, Dunham had been hospitalized in the last 18 months for heart complications that had almost taken his life. His heart was only operating at “25 percent capacity,” so his doctors recommended an urgent pacemaker implant.

In April 2020, Dunham went to his doctor regarding the surgery, but was told his pacemaker implant was considered “non-essential” under the Albertan Government’s laws intended to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals. 

Dunham was posting to his Facebook about his ordeal, and, ominously, on May 5, shared a post from True North about 36 people who had died in Ontario as a result of COVID-19 lockdown delayed cardiac procedures.

Dunham wrote “Hopefully I don’t turn into a statistic.” 

Dunham died on June 7, 2020. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters aged six and nine. A GoFundMe has been established to assist in contributing to his daughters’ futures. 

Of the tragedy, the JCCF’s John Carpay writes: 

Although Jerry cannot be brought back to life, there is something that Krista and all concerned citizens can do: hold Premier Jason Kenney and [Alberta Chief Medical Officer] Dr. Hinshaw accountable for their decision to cancel 22,000 non-essential surgeries, even while Alberta’s hospitals remained empty for weeks on end.