March 26, 2022
Island Health letter refusing to release Eileen Wicks’ records is a smoke and mirrors absurdity
If I said I was livid after reading the Wicks articles that would be an understatement. I do not know how anyone can find acceptance in their hearts when coming face to face with any individual who is so entitled there is not even a semblance of hesitation or shame in what they are saying and doing.
That letter from Krisna Phosy, [Island Health records analyst] is one of the most insincere smoke and mirrors games of absurdity played by a so called “professional” I have ever read. It is incomprehensible to me. This truly is the face of evil. My denial is now completely gone and, like so many others, when finding themselves in this place, there is no place to hide.
May Trevor and Eileen be given strength and courage because they fight for every one of us, whether we know it or not. The bell tolls for us all and we don’t want to hear.
Patri Janyk, Courtenay, BC
We disabled access to Ms. Phosy’s letter which had initially been made available to the public for download in a previous article, after an Island Health lawyer objected to publication of this document, claiming that publication of Phosy’s letter is evidence that Trevor Wicks is not acting in the best interests of his wife. We disagree, but acceded to Island Health’s objections in order to protect Eileen and Trevor Wicks from harmful allegations. — Editor
Woman hires lawyer to free husband with dementia detained illegally at Royal Jubilee Hospital
In 2003 my husband began showing symptoms of what would later be diagnosed at the UBC Alzheimer’s Clinic as Alzheimer’s Disease. For 14 years after the onset of his illness, with the help and support of family, friends, Home and Community Care, and the Adult Care Program in our city, I looked after my husband at home. With that help, we had coped all right with the ups and downs that accompany living with Alzheimer’s.
But in year 15 of our journey, disaster struck. On March 13, 2017, following an erroneous report by staff at our hospital, he was certified via text messages from our GP to the psychiatrist in charge of Bill’s case as a ‘Danger to Himself and to Others’. That afternoon, he was moved from our hospital to the psychiatric unit at the Comox Hospital. On April 10th, he was moved from Comox to the Tertiary Care Unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. There, in spite of the two successive psychiatrists in charge of Bill’s case at the Jubilee over the next six months telling me Bill never should have been certified, neither of them decertified him.
I would finally secure Bill’s release on September 22, 2017, after I hired a lawyer to fight the withdrawal of a promise by the second psychiatrist to allow me to bring Bill home for a one-week trial. Still, Bill was not decertified. That psychiatrist had renewed the certification, without proper documentation, and the certification was supposed to stand until February 18, 2018. However, some weeks after I got Bill home the psychiatrist from Comox visited Bill and me in our home, and agreed to decertify him.
During Bill’s time in the Jubilee, he was given 16 different drugs, none of which changed his resistance to personal care by some staff. ECT [Electroshock Treatment, aka Electroconvulsive Therapy] was then brought to the table. ECT was the only treatment I still had the legal authority to deny on Bill’s behalf. After pressure from two doctors at the Jubilee for me to authorize ECT treatments, and discussions with two doctors who were friends of mine about ECT, and after realizing that unless I agreed to ECT Bill was never going to be released from the Jubilee, I agreed to 13 treatments.
During my final fight to get Bill released, the psychiatrist then in charge of his care informed me Bill had had 31 ECT treatments, which meant he was given 18 against my wishes. Two of the final treatments were done on an area I had specifically forbidden treatments to be done when I witnessed the harm two prior treatments in that area had done to Bill. That harm would never be reversed. Bill died, at home, cared for by people he loved, on March 17, 2018.
In my husband’s final year, I believe he was made to suffer as much, or more, from the treatment he received in our hospitals for the illness he had than the illness itself caused. He was illegally certified as a Danger to Himself and to Others; illegally detained for the six months he was in the Comox and Jubilee hospitals, and he was illegally given 18 ECT treatments at the Royal Jubilee.
My hope is that within my lifetime lasting positive changes to how dementia patients and their families are treated in our health care system will be made. Which includes significant changes in how medical personnel including Doctors, Case Managers, RNs, LPNs, Care Aides and Personal Care Workers are trained to treat dementia patients, and their families, in their charge; changes in the policies and legalities that govern, or are concerned with, medical care as it is delivered to dementia patients in our institutions; and changes in housing models for long-term care patients. To that end, I will add my voice to the many who are advocating for such changes to be made wherever and whenever I can.