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Accfocus: Eighty-Year-Old In Constant Pain Cannot Claim, Acc Rules

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 09:01 AM

If Janet Brown wants to wash her face she has to sit down and bend over until her face is almost to her knees because she cannot lift her arms. As a result of two accidents in 2004 and 2013, the 80-year-old has damaged the rotator cuffs in both shoulders and needs an operation. But ACC has turned down her claim, a decision that was later upheld by a review and she does not meet the threshold required by Taranaki DHB to get an assessment.

The ACC review said there "was insufficient evidence to link either the 2004 or 2013 accident events as causing the arthropathy in Mrs Brown for which surgery is now needed."

Brown said she couldn't afford to pay for the operation, which she desperately needs.

"I can't wash myself. I can't use deodorant, because I can't get under my armpits. I have to have help with showering. I can't knit. I can't spin and that's my hobby. I try and pull a few weeds out in the garden, but give me five minutes in the garden and I can't do any more. I shouldn't even being doing that."

Brown reckoned she would live until she is 100, but doesn't want to spend the next 20 years sitting in a chair.

"I can only sleep on my back. And to get out of bed I put my legs out pull my legs back over my tummy and whip myself out of bed that way.

"My flower gardens are absolutely crap and I've always had a good vegetable garden."

Her partner has to do everything around the house and he works full time, she said.

"When he's not here have to manage as best I can."

Brown had an accident on Christmas Day in 2004 and ended up in Auckland Hospital with a fractured pelvis. An X-ray showed she had damaged her shoulder.

Her daughter is a personal trainer and gave her exercises, she said.

"She got me rehabilitated quite well. I still had sore shoulders was taking panadol for pain relief. I had problems and I was in pain but I never complained."

And she reckoned that stoicism had come back to bite her.

"At no stage did I make a fuss about having sore shoulders, so because nothing was recorded it's being taken that I was 100 per cent ok. That's where it's all come apart. I didn't rush off to see my GP every couple of months with shoulder pain."

Then, in October 2013, Brown and her partner had an accident when the motorbike they were riding slid on a diesel slick.

"I fell on my left shoulder and the right one was pushed back behind me. I ended up with 16 rib fractures and a fractured T6 spine. I was traumatised for four months after it. I had what they call a flail chest, the left side of my ribs were floating around inside of lung cavity."

She hurt her shoulders in the accident, but the focus was on her other injuries because they were so severe.

"For six months I had rib pain and couldn't breathe properly. I didn't use my arms. All I did was sit in my chair for weeks and weeks. After six months my doctor realised I had a sore shoulder. The CT scan shows severe damage to my shoulders."

An ACC spokeswoman said the review was a legal process between the client and ACC, heard by an independent FairWay Resolution reviewer.

"Any decision made by the reviewer is binding."


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#2 billbus



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Posted 01 January 2017 - 02:28 PM

Warning there is no such thing as an independent reviewer they are connected to acc via an umbilical cord that loves getting money into their hip pocket.

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