By Tiffany Chan

BOSTON (CBS) – An Arizona mother is dreading the possible call that her son’s elective surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital will be postponed again due to COVID-19.

“Every time my phone rings and it’s a Boston number, my heart stops,” said Gail Smith.

Her 7-year-old son, Derek, needs surgery on his heart and airway. It was originally scheduled for January 2021, but it was delayed due to the pandemic.

Massachusetts hospitals are overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, forcing many to postpone elective, non-life threatening surgeries until more beds open up.

Mass General Brigham said they’re postponing more than 2,000 cases per week, writing in a statement:
“We know this is extremely difficult for patients and our teams of providers are working each day to prioritize those procedures of a more urgent need.”

The Smith family is set to fly from Phoenix to Boston Tuesday for surgery scheduled for January 25.

“His heart is basically crushing his airway and in order to fix it, they have to move his heart to fix his airway,” described Smith.

The procedure is technically considered elective, so the family has no choice but to wait and hope for the best.

“I’m fearful that once again, we’re going to be rescheduled because of COVID,” she said.

Tiffany Chan