‘A desperate situation’: Injured N.B. man stranded in Florida due to full hospitals at home
Last month, Patricia Bates and Joseph Guthro took a bus tour from New Brunswick down the Eastern seaboard of the United States to Florida, which was supposed to be a dream vacation for them. The 82- and 84-year-olds were hoping to use the time to travel around the Southern U.S. as a late winter getaway.
On March 28, Guthro got up to use the washroom on board the bus. It was then a car pulled out in front of the tour bus, forcing the driver to slam on the brakes.
Guthro fell, compressing a disc in his body. After tests at the hospital, the Orlando care centre admitted him, where he’s been for almost two weeks.
His wife Patricia has been sitting by his side, sleeping in the chair to the left of his bed. She hoped that once he got better, they could transfer him to a hospital in New Brunswick.
When the doctor cleared Guthro, the couple was told that they weren’t able to get a bed in New Brunswick because the hospitals were full.
“I got pain going down my left leg,” said Guthro, speaking with Global News from his hospital bed in Orlando, Florida. “I figured there’d be at least a bed there (at a New Brunswick hospital).”
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He estimates that he will need weeks of rehabilitation, which is mostly done through the province’s Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation in Fredericton.
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The hospital-based facility has 20 beds and services cardiac, neurosurgery and rehabilitation patients.
“The story is that there’s no beds in New Brunswick. In fact, I was told that it’s bad across the country,” said Guthro’s wife Patricia.
“It’s a desperate situation. My husband is bed-ridden enough that he hasn’t been able to have a shave or anything.”
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She said that experience has been “emotional” for the two. She watched her husband take his first few steps again earlier this week.
“I just want to get home and get into a bed so I can get some rehabilitation,” said Guthro.
“The Canadian government doesn’t seem to give a damn about citizens that are outside of the country that needs help.”
Global News reached out to Horizon Health Network, but the regional health authority did not respond before publishing.
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