‘Distraught’ Stevenage man cancels wedding to have arm operation - only for surgery to be cancelled

Michael Metcalf with a letter from the hospital

Michael Metcalf with a letter from the hospital - Credit: Archant

It was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives for Michael Metcalf and his fiancée Debbie, but instead they spent it crying in bed.

The couple had been due to get married on October 10 last year – but five weeks before the big day Michael’s shoulder surgery was rescheduled at the Lister Hospital for the same day.

They decided that it was more important for the op to go ahead, so they put off their big day.

But then one week before the surgery, the hospital called and told Michael that they would have to cancel the appointment.

“We just spent the day in bed in tears really,” Michael said. “It was very upsetting.


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“And the worst thing is, I still haven’t had the surgery.”

The four-hour op was scheduled for last Wednesday only to be delayed again, for what Michael claims is the eighth time.

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The 23-year-old said: “I am just so frustrated and feel so let down.”

Michael needs the operation to fix a recurrent dislocated arm which at the moment pops out around twice a day.

He needs keyhole surgery to fix the problem, caused by a motorbike accident in October 2013.

The next appointment he has been given is February 4. “But there is no guarantee, so it still may not go ahead,” he said.

“I just want to get it over with.”

Fiancée Debbie who is disabled, said: “I think we have lost around £3,000 from cancelling the wedding and then rebooking it.

“I was distraught, absolutely distraught, when we had to cancel.”

A spokesman for the East and North Herts NHS Trust said they had only cancelled the operation five times.

He blamed the January cancellations on “extreme pressures” on NHS services.

Two operations were cancelled after the surgeon “became unexpectedly unavailable” and one was terminated at short notice due to an emergency patient.

He said: “We are very sorry that Mr Metcalf’s operation has been cancelled in this way, but mostly this has been for reasons outside of our control.

“We’re now working hard to make sure that his operation does go ahead.

“The team involved in getting Mr Metcalf’s surgery date sorted were unaware that he was planning to get married last year and had postponed his wedding.

“Had they known this, they would have worked with him happily to help prevent this needing to happen in the first place.”

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