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

Buffy the audience slayer: St. Marie coming to Sidney

Powerful live shows a big part of veteran Canadian folk star’s success; she’s here Sept. 26-27

Oak Bay doctor the pulse of Island’s heart failure clinic

Dr. Elizabeth Swiggum has headed heart clinic for past 14 years

Annual study shows high satisfaction with B.C. post-secondary schools

Study also reveals men tend to dominate higher paying jobs in the trades

Pavement work to close Fort Rodd Hill

Historic site scheduled to be closed to public Sept. 3 to 6

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read