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

Dynamiters prepare for main camp

The Kimberley Dynamiters will host their main camp on Aug. 30 - Sept. 1 at the Civic Centre

UPDATED: MV Balfour ferry returns to service

The 65-year-old ferry had been out of action for a month

Kiara Ker earns bronze at U17 National Basketball Championships

This was the third time the local basketball player represented Team BC at the national level

Vehicle stolen from downtown Fernie found torched at transfer station

RCMP are seeking witnesses to the theft of a yellow 2002 Subaru… Continue reading

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read