N.S. health minister promises review after boy dies following years in hospital
Published Tuesday, March 17, 2015 7:14PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 18, 2015 7:09AM ADT
Nova Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine says there will be a review into why it took years for Dominick Benoit to secure a spot in a long-term care home.
The 11-year-old boy died in a Halifax hospital on Sunday.
After two years of waiting, they were weeks away from moving into a specialized long-term care room, his mother says.
“I tried as hard as I could to get him in a better situation. I tried,” said his mother, Renee Benoit.
His needs were too great to live at home, but not so great as to need hospital care.
It was in hospital, Renee said, that Dominick caught the flu.
“It was one of my biggest fears,” she said.
“I knew Dominick's immune system wasn't strong to begin with and I was always afraid that he if got the flu that he might not recover.”
Dominick lived with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
For two years he had lived in a Kentville hospital, while his family fought to get him placed in a smaller, properly equipped care facility closer to their Truro-area home, two hours away.
When Dominick died, work was underway to make the transfer happen. A room had been renovated, equipment acquired, and staff secured.
Move-in day seemed to be weeks away, his mother said.
“In the end it took too long and it wasn't enough,” Renee said.
Though it’s now too late to help her own son, she’s calling on the provincial government to speed up the process for getting others into long-term care.
“No child, no adult, no senior should be stuck in a hospital when they don't need to be.” Renee said.
The N.S. health minister said one of the challenges of Dominick’s case was the need for his department and Community Services to coordinate their efforts.
Glavine said he’s experienced deep, personal frustration from what he’s seen of Dominick’s case, and there will be a review.
“If there were periods of time when little or nothing was being done, that's not acceptable,” Glavine said.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell