Tavia Marlatt refuses to leave the hospital until she has an at-home care plan. Submitted photo

Tavia Marlatt refuses to leave the hospital until she has an at-home care plan. Submitted photo

B.C. epilepsy patient refuses to leave Vancouver hospital until needs are met

Tavia Marlatt is scheduled to meet with Langley Memorial Hospital officials on Friday, April 5.

A 22-year-old from Langley who suffers from epilepsy is refusing to leave Vancouver General Hospital until her health care needs are met.

Tavia Marlatt can have anywhere from six to 50 seizures a day. She’s been at VGH undergoing a series of epilepsy tests that revealed she’s been having seizures from three parts of her brain.

And now, she’s refusing to go home until Fraser Health can meet her needs for an at-home care plan.

Through a YouTube channel, Tavia has been documenting her stay at the hospital, while advocating for herself and others with epilepsy.

“They will not send me home with a care plan for having funding for a nurse or something to take care of me, so my mom can be a mom to the rest of my siblings and work her job,” Tavia explained in a YouTube video.

“Basically, what the plan is, is stay here until my needs are met or the police come.”

Tavia’s mother, Renee Marlatt, said the family has been asking the Fraser Health Authority for in-home care support at their family home since Tavia turned 19.

But according to Renee, Fraser Health has repeatedly denied funding for in-home care, and has instead suggested that Tavia live in a group home.

“Our goal is to work collaboratively with the Health Authority to come up with a solution. We want funding released to have staff at home,” explained Renee.

Later this afternoon (Friday, April 5), Renee and Tavia are scheduled to meet with the director of Langley Memorial Hospital.

“We’re going into that with an open mind, and hoping for some type of resolution or plan. If we don’t come to a resolution or plan, Tavia will be staying at VGH,” Renee added.

On Thursday afternoon, Fraser Health Authority sent a statement that said they continue to have conversations with the family “in order to find the best path to the most appropriate care.”

“Fraser Health has offered to move the patient as soon as possible into another health-care facility within our region so that we can work on a long-term plan with the family. Fraser Health is also setting up a meeting for the family with a home health community case manager to work on a plan to support the patient’s needs in her own home with expanded care options.”

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 explained she has had to miss a significant amount of work to care for Tavia, and said she’s unable to spend much time with her other daughter while caring for Tavia.

“It affects the whole family.”

Ideally, Renee is hoping she will be able to have a meeting with Health Minister Adrian Dix in the future.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Overhead lights have been installed at the Oliver skatepark so kids can enjoy the park longer during winter hours. (Argon photo)
Community lights up Oliver skatepark, calling it a ‘game changer’ for youth

Both the dog park and Small Wheels Skatepark have lighting now

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Chelsea Ishizuka was borned and raised in Penticton but has now moved to Japan. When she found out there was a popular restaurant there named after Penticton, she had to go check it out. Here she is with the owner (right). (Facebook)
Popular restaurant in Japan named after city of Penticton

A Pentictonite now living in Tokyo discovered the eatery and the history behind its name

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

(File photo)
COLUMN: How to help your young reluctant reader

Library has resources to help children

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
One of two Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreaks declared over

One outbreak declared over after two deaths, seven cases; another outbreak remains ongoing in the hospital

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna care home after 12 cases noted

Two staff members and 10 residents at Cottonwoods Care Centre have tested positive for COVID-19

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary has teamed up with Globox on a fundraising raffle for its graduating class of 2021. (Photo supplied)
Okanagan secondary school grads glowing over fundraiser

Kalamalka Secondary teams with company on fundraising raffle, replacing annual apple pie fundraiser

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Most Read