For several days now, Maria Demestihas has been shuffling her way through the halls of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, pleading desperately with doctors to remove a football-sized hernia protruding from her husband’s stomach.
Her husband, Nicholas Demestihas, gained worldwide notoriety last week when he attempted to cut out the large mass using a butter knife. Emergency crews rushed him to the hospital, where doctors addressed the knife wound, but left the hernia alone.
“The issue is the money because we don’t have insurance,” she said. “If he had insurance, they would do it right away.”
And at 63, he’s not old enough to qualify for Medicare services.
Adding to the drama is the fact that the hernia, Maria Demestihas said, exacerbates her husband’s schizophrenia, which doesn’t make it any easier to solicit surgery.
An Alhambra clinic once came close to removing the hernia, but doctors backed out of the operation due to his unstable behavior, she said.