This broke my heart!  

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

I came across this, I found it unbearable, imagine being faced with such a decision, it made me appreciate the fact that we have a national Health service in Britain, it may not be even close to perfect, but no family in the UK has to worry about being able to afford care in this way.


Kristine Gavrel-McKeague and her husband, Adrian, recently faced surrendering custody of their severely disabled newborn daughter and making her a ward of the state to make sure she received the medical care she needed to live.

The Ottawa family's tragic case is one of 24 complaints Ontario Ombudsman André Marin highlighted yesterday in the release of his annual report.

Fifteen months ago, Penelope came into this world not breathing. She was revived 14 minutes after birth but now has severe cerebral palsy because of a lack of oxygen to her brain.

The McKeague family is unable to pay for the 24-hour care their daughter needs. At one point last August, they had to put Penelope in the temporary custody of a children's aid society. She remained there until April 17.

To read more...
http://www.thestar.com/article/655624

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13 comments: to “ This broke my heart!

  • Linda
    15 July 2009 at 13:31  

    Sally,
    This is a terrible tragedy that a parent might not be able to keep their disabled child because of finances, but it does happen.

    My youngest SIL was born profoundly 'retarded'. My MIL kept her in the home until she was seven years old. By then, she was the size of a seven year old, but couldn't walk, was not 'potty' trained, had to be fed, etc. My MIL was a widow, the mother of seven more children. She finally made the heart wrenching decision to put her daughter in a state run institution. However, by then, much of the damage had been done to the family. The other 2 girls in the family never had much of a childhood because of the care that they had to give to the sister.

    The boys had an out because they had the farm to take care of. They could be out of the house for hours a day, but it wasn't easy for them either.

    About 25 years ago my SIL was moved to another state run home. It is much better, in that there is a caregiver for every 2 people. She lives in a home with 5 other disabled. She is much more content.

    The institutions had the ability to take the time to teach her the basics of life...walking, toilet training, eating, etc. They were even able to stop her from biting herself and others, which caused many problems in itself.

    My dear MIL now lives in a nursing home. Before she was relieved of her concern for her daughter, that is the only child she ever talked about. My SIL, who is the oldest girl in the family, took over guardianship of her sister.

    Please don't judge another family's decision. Each one has to do what is needed for their own situation.

    No matter what they decide to do, it will be a hard, life-changing situation for them.

    I know this is long, but I wanted to add that my MIL and family never forgot my SIL. She is now 53 years old, and will probably outlive all of her family.

  • Elaine at Matters of the Heart)
    15 July 2009 at 14:59  

    Oh wow, how very sad is that. I just can not even imagine having to make that decision. Something is definitely wrong if parents are put in that position.

  • Decadent Housewife
    15 July 2009 at 15:08  

    Sally,
    I am ashamed to say this is happening in my province. Perhaps Ontario could look at your health system to see how this can be fixed.

    There are holes in the Canadian health care system - I've fallen through enough of them myself.

  • ~Tom~
    15 July 2009 at 15:19  

    These types of stories make me very sad and very mad at the way the world treats others in it!

  • Sally's World
    15 July 2009 at 15:57  

    I guess, i had no idea it was so common place, i am in no way judging parents making these decisions I can assure you, it just breaks my heart to think it has to be an option, and it certainly made me grateful we have free health care for all in the UK....London is one of the busiest places, so waiting times are long, and care is sometimes rushed, but when it comes to any care, doctors physios, meds, no one in the UK has to concider anything as awful as this, it is so sad...I can't imagine it...

    of all the reasons to not be able to carry on, finances should not come into it, when governments spend so much, on so many other things, how can this happen to families...

  • Randi Troxell
    15 July 2009 at 16:23  

    this is so sad... it brings tears to my eyes... with so many things that even i recognize i take for granted... it makes me want to reach out and help in any way possible...

  • Becca
    15 July 2009 at 16:38  

    This is horrible. I cannot imagine having to make a decision like that. There ought to be better ways to help a family that cannot afford such care instead of handing over their child. So sad!

  • Maureen at IslandRoar
    15 July 2009 at 17:21  

    I can't believe stuff like that goes on. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

  • RileyScott
    15 July 2009 at 19:17  

    These kinds of incidents are whats happens when healthcare is run for profit instead of for the people

  • ~Thought's By Dena~
    15 July 2009 at 20:02  

    very heartbreaking...and yet it does happen all around us

  • Dragon
    15 July 2009 at 21:38  

    That is horrible! I couldn't even imagine. All because they can't afford proper care, that is just wrong!!

  • Trojan Gayle
    16 July 2009 at 15:44  

    What a sad story. I guess it does highlight the difficult choices people are forced to make in these situtaions.

    It truly is a heartbreaking story but hopefully this family or other families will get the support needed to raise their children.

  • Life with Kaishon
    17 July 2009 at 02:18  

    Oh my goodness. Thanks for bringing this issue to light. Startling.

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