Bay Area Becomes Lifeline as Other Hospitals are Forced to Postpone Medical Procedures

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The Bay Area is proving to be a lifeline as hospitals across the country are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and are postponing medical procedures. 

This has left many patients looking for care, and some are finding it in the Bay Area. 

“I have nausea under control that's good but it's been like being in labor since the 17th,” said Chelsea Titus. 

She said she has been living with intense pain from endometriosis for two weeks and doctors where she lives in Boise, Idaho can’t schedule the needed surgery to remove an ovary.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has activated "crisis standards of care” -- postponing surgeries because hospitals are filled with COVID patients.

“We have struggled with vaccination rates and that has translated into hospital system that is overwhelmed,” said Dr. Todd Hoopman of Idaho's Kootenai Health.

Titus said she had no doubt she’d be home recovering from surgery had it not been for hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. 

Instead, she is a long way from home. She’s in the Bay Area desperate for relief. She talked to her doctor and decided to come to El Camino Hospital in Mountain View for surgery.

California has the lowest COVID-19 transmission rate in the country and some of the highest vaccination rates.

Titus says the difference in medical care here is drastic.  

“There was two patients the entire time I was at urgent care, in Boise it's incredibly busy,” she said. 

Her procedure is scheduled for Wednesday. If all goes well, she can go home next week.

A medical journey costing her thousands of extra dollars.

“I feel fortunate I'm here and have support system but it enrages me that people who don't have resources that I have are stuck in Idaho not able to get surgeries they need,” said Titus.

She's hoping sharing her story will help convince people to get vaccinated.

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