News 6 - November 29, 2023 6:25 am

Ardent Health Services has become a victim of a ransomware attack, potentially affecting Oklahoma hospitals (PHOTO: Ardent Health Services).


Surgeries are cancelled and rescheduled because of a ransomware attack on a Tulsa hospital.

Ardent Health Services, the company that owns Hillcrest Medical Center, says it found out about the attack Thursday, and some incoming patients are being diverted to other hospitals.

Annie Wolf was supposed to have open heart surgery Monday morning, but she got the call Saturday that it had to be pushed back.

Wolf got the news Monday afternoon that her surgery was back on, but she will have to go through the lab work she did last week again before she can have it.

Wolf was supposed to be recovering, but it will be a few more days before she can have her open heart surgery.

“I’ve got a hole in my mitral valve, and basically walking around, I can’t breathe,” said Wolf. “I get very fatigued, very tired, very quickly. If I go to the store, I’ve got to ride the scooter.”

Wolf’s family has had Monday circled for months.

Her sister Pauline even flew in from Australia to help with her recovery.

Now, Annie, her husband Erik, and Pauline are finding ways to pass the time after the owners of Hillcrest say their hospitals were the victims of a ransomware attack.

“The impact is real,” said Erik. “The life-long, potential disastrous impact that these hackers inflict is real.”

Erik says he appreciates Hillcrest for working with them to find a new day.

What makes him angry is that someone would hack a system and put lives at risk.

“You might as well, in many of these cases, hold a gun to someone’s head and demand money because that’s what they’re doing,” said Erik. “They’re just doing it in a backhanded way. We’re not going to let you get life-saving surgery until you pay us.”

They feel lucky they were able to get back on the schedule so quickly and that they have ways to pay for the treatment.

But they know it’s not the same story for every patient.

“Not everybody has that,” said Erik. “We are a representation of just one small segment of the tens of thousands of people whose lives are impacted. Many of which do not have the resources that we have.”

Ardent Health Services says it doesn’t know how long it will take to get their systems back up and running or what data was involved in the breach.


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