Restrictions on non-essential medical procedures have left some North Texans waiting to get help they need

Although Texas Governor Greg Abbott has loosened restrictions on non-essential medical procedures and surgeries, North Texas hospitals are still trying to figure out how to safely move forward.

This leaves some people waiting to get the help they need.

One local family said their life has been put on hold.

It will take some time for hospitals to resume medical procedures that were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For one man, that time means waiting for answers to what could be a life-changing solution to his suffering.

Although some medical procedures are considered non-essential during this current crisis, it doesn't mean they aren't essential in helping those living with serious health conditions.

Chris Simants suffers from epilepsy, and experiences seizures multiple times a day.

"Most of mine are what they call myoclonic, so there are a lot of twitching and jerking moments, movements, as well as, staring spells where you kind of lose time," Simants explained.

His wife, Kelly, and two sons have been his support system as he tries to adjust to his recent diagnosis caused by complications from several brain surgeries.

The first was to remove a benign brain tumor in 2016.

Simants said the next step medically is a study at UT Southwestern, so they can try to pinpoint what triggers his seizures, and options there are to help them stop.

It took months for him to get an appointment set for May.

Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and since the study requires up to a week hospital stay, that date is up in the air.

"I see something different than anybody else would see. I see potential for healing, and that has been my goal from all along with the study for him, to bring healing to his life to our family,” Simants said. “So when that was put on hold, it's hard. it's something that does feel like a setback."

Since Gov. Abbott loosened restrictions on medical procedures and surgeries, some hospitals are still trying to develop a plan on how to move forward.

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UT Southwestern officials said the safety of staff and patients comes first when considering when non-urgent procedures will resume.

It will be evaluating each on a case-by-case basis.

The medical center is also taking many things into consideration, including PPE availability, infection risk, and ongoing COVID-19 cases in the community.

Simants says, for now, medication can reduce his seizures but not help them go away.

That means there are limits to what he can do.

"Be careful about when there's things you're doing around the house, stairs, sharp objects, machinery," he added.

That has left him unable to work and unable to drive.

But through it all, Simants has remained positive and is hoping the answers he needs will come soon.

"This is the step we need that hopefully will tell us, one way or another, that we can do this to fix you or maybe this to help you," he said.

Baylor Scott & White officials said they are finding a balance between being prepared for influxes of COVID-19 patients and safely caring for those who meet the criteria of the executive order.

That could be as soon as this week.

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