Man who needs feeding tube to eat claims he's gone weeks without being fed at Victoria hospital
VICTORIA -- A video of Dez Young, taken on Monday, shows him pleading with hospital staff at Victoria General Hospital for food after he says he had not eaten for four days.
"I just want nutrition, that’s literally it," says Young in the video.
Young has been in hospital for 11 months. He says he often goes days without any food.
"I have a surgical J-tube and sometimes it breaks," said Young. "Also, I have to have it replaced every three months."
Young has to feed through a tube due to the effects of life-saving chemotherapy he had undergone as child to treat leukaemia. His digestive tract is now damaged due to two-and-half years of those treatments.
When his tube fails, it has to be replaced with interventional radiology services.
"The problem is the lack of resources in interventional radiology," said Arabella Young, Dez’s mother. "So Dez is bumped over and over again because of the amount of stroke patients or other traumas that are coming in."
Arabella says what her son is being put through is unacceptable.
"Dez has been up to 16 days at a time without nutrition other than an IV saline drip," she said.
"For the 16-day period, I was so thirsty, I was so weak, I was so shaky and I actually fell a couple of times when transferring," said Young. "Just because I was so dizzy and unsteady."
CTV News reached out to Island Health to ask them for comment on the allegations brought froward by the Young family. In a statement to CTV News, Island Health said it was unable to comment on specific claims.
"Due to privacy laws, we cannot discuss or disclose details about individual patients or the care they receive," said Island Health.
"We are always concerned when care received does not meet a patient’s expectations, and we take all care complaints seriously," said the health authority.
The response was not good enough, says Arabella.
"I want to know who in charge of not feeding my child for 16 days and who’s going to protect my child right now," she said.
For Young, he says this is an example of our medical system’s achievements and failures.
"I think that that’s why we have a problem with chronic care, because just now we’re starting to see the effects of all these new lives that we’ve been able to save," said Young. "But we weren’t prepared to deal with the long-term consequences that can come with the treatments."