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Heart patient whose insurer wouldn’t cover surgery now in recovery, thanking God

Chris Mahoney

Recovering: Chris Mahoney.

HEART patient Chris Mahoney is recovering after successful robotic heart surgery in Melbourne.

“I only know I thank God for all of the thoughts and prayers that have been offered up for me,” the Brisbane father of four said.

Mr Mahoney, from St Mary MacKillop Parish, Birkdale, is recovering after surgery for a prolapsing mitral valve – which was preventing sufficient oxygen entering his heart from his lungs.

He underwent urgent surgery despite his health insurer, NIB, refusing to pay for the operation.

An online petition to NIB on change.org received about 25,000 signatures, and rival insurer Medibank Private stepped in to cover most of the costs. 

His family was able to fly with him to Melbourne.

Mr Mahoney said his morale was boosted after the operation by the presence of his family by his bedside. 

“I’m told that I might have another bad day in a couple of days, but I know that with my family around me, I’ll be fine,” he said.

“I truly, deeply feel for others stuck for days, weeks, longer or those without family members. I cannot fathom what that must be like.”

Hundreds of comments have been posted on change.org wishing Mr Mahoney a fast recovery following his operation and his wrangle with insurer NIB.

Last week The Catholic Leader reported how NIB refused to cover Mr Mahoney’s operation even though he joined NIB more than eight years ago with family cover for himself, his wife Jodie and their four children.

“They told me my plan is no longer offered, and it won’t cover me in a private hospital,” he said. 

“When I inquired as to what the current plans covered, they told me that if I was on any of their current plans, I would be covered.”   

By Mark Bowling

Catholic Church Insurance

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