Tavia Marlatt refused to leave the hospital until she has an at-home care plan. Submitted photo

B.C. epilepsy patient ends sit-in, awaits answers

Tavia Marlatt and her mother, Renee, met with Fraser Health officials on Friday, April 5.

After refusing to leave Vancouver General Hospital until her health care needs were met, Langley’s 22-year-old Tavia Marlatt is a step closer to receiving what she needs.

Tavia suffers from epilepsy, and can have anywhere from six to 50 seizures a day. Last week, she was at VGH undergoing a series of epilepsy tests that revealed she’s been having seizures from three parts of her brain.

READ MORE: Langley epilepsy patient refuses to leave Vancouver hospital until needs are met

Through a YouTube channel, Tavia documented her stay at the hospital, and said she was refusing to leave the hospital until she was given at at-home care plan.

“Basically, what the plan is, is stay here until my needs are met or the police come,” Tavia explained in a YouTube video.

Fortunately, officials from Langley Memorial Hospital agreed to meet with Tavia and her mother, Renee, last Friday to discuss health care options.

Renee explained the family has been asking the Fraser Health Authority for in-home care support at their family home since Tavia turned 19. She said there is a gap in funding from when children age out of school, and become adults.

Prior to the meeting, Renee said Fraser Health has repeatedly denied funding for in-home care, and has instead suggested Tavia live in a group home.

“We want funding released to have staff at home,” she added.

On the same Friday, Tavia agreed to leave the hospital on “good faith” that long-term funding will soon be provided.

Tavia was diagnosed with epilepsy at age seven, and the severity of it increased when she was eleven.

According to Renee, Tavia’s condition was more manageable when she was school-aged, because the family had the support of her being at school during the day, with people who could administer medications if needed.

Since becoming an adult, the medical system has failed Tavia, according to Renee.

“She needs support to be successful, and hasn’t been given the opportunity to be successful, and that’s hard to see. She [Tavia] says, ‘It’s hard to connect and make friends because they’re too independent for me.’ It’s hard to watch her suffer.”

Renee confirmed there is now short-term funding in place.

After Friday’s meeting, Renee said there is now a proposal for long-term services being drafted, and she is hoping to find out more information by the end of this week.

“They [Fraser Health] recognized there’s a gap in services,” added Renee.

“This isn’t just for Tavia, it’s for any person with epilepsy.”

Fraser Health confirmed they met with the Marlatt family.

“We continue to have ongoing conversations and work on a plan to support the patient’s needs,” Fraser Health said in a statement.

Currently Renee is unsure what type of funding they will receive, but hopes it will be long-term funding to access Choice in Supports for Independent Living (CSIL) – a self-directed home support services program.

“The benefit of having individualized funding is you can customize those supports to be responsive and flexible to a person,” added Renee.

Ideally, Renee is hoping for an in-home support system that is able to administer Tavia’s medications, bring her out into the community, and take her to activities such as her volunteer job.

This would also allow Renee to go back to work, since she wouldn’t have to stay home to care for Tavia herself.

“We’re very hopeful those supports will be in place. As a parent, it’s been really encouraging to see her [Tavia] taking a strong role and lead in advocating for people with epilepsy.”

Renee emphasized her and Tavia’s advocacy isn’t just for their own family needs.

“Our goal is that this isn’t just something for Tavia. Hopefully it will further support change for people with epilepsy or invisible disabilities.”

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: miranda.fatur@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

Castlegar mayor releases FCM itinerary

Bruno Tassone delivers promised report on activities at Quebec City municipal conference

Castlegar watering restrictions start this week

No watering or car washing allowed between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Fish free on Family Fishing Weekend

Family Fishing Weekend events take place June 14 to 16 with organized events in the Kootenays.

PLACE NAMES: Rossland neighbourhoods, Part 2

Early Rossland’s misaligned townsite additions frustrated the city engineer

West Kootenay afternoon storms spark fires

Lots of thunder and lightning, and little rain, as system moves through region

VIDEO: 5 of the best fathers in film

From Finding Nemo to Taken, here are some great on-screen dads

Mexico-bound Tour Divide riders complete first day, pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

Victoria man wins record-breaking Human Rights Tribunal case

After 14 years Chris Hughes won a case after facing discrimination for depression

Toronto Raptors and their diverse team celebrated worldwide

Team is made up of players from the U.S., Canada, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and Spain

B.C. RCMP launches pilot to test reporting non-serious crimes online

Four cities will soon be able to report theft under $5,000, lost of stolen items to police online

Trial begins in case of young Canadian couple killed in 1987

William Earl Talbott II was arrested last year and charged with aggravated murder

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody, 6 months since release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Pot edibles, topicals and extracts to hit shelves no earlier than mid-December: Ottawa

Health Canada wrapped its public consultation on the draft rules for cannabis products in February

B.C. woman fighting to block coroner’s report detailing husband’s death

Fears revealing exactly how Ben Kilmer took his life will have traumatic effect on her two children

Most Read