First Nations woman says B.C. healthcare failed her – again - APTN NewsAPTN News

First Nations woman says B.C. healthcare failed her – again

Tina House
It’s been just over two months since Mary Stewart, 55, was taken to a Chilliwack Hospital after saying she was hit by a semi-truck.

“I can remember screaming for murder because I was ran over by a truck I remember the wheels hitting me and somebody called 911,” she told APTN News.

Since that time, Stewart was promised physio-therapy and medication to help her deal with the pain – but so far nothing.

Two weeks ago she was sent to a recovery house in Surrey where she was promised help.

But she said there were no services offered.

Now she is being cared for by her family.

“Thay are racist and they don’t think that we deserve the same treatment as people that dont have brown skin,” said her friend Eddie Julian.

Stewart’s ordeal started after she was taken to the Chilliwack emergency room after being hit by a truck.

Stewart claims that the physician told her they didn’t see anything wrong in the x-rays, and she said she was released.

She said a nurse said that if she didn’t leave, they would call the police.

She had no money and no phone. Her partner was with her and they ended up leaving at around 4 am in the rain.

“They sent me away in a wheelchair and it was raining outside and they cut me outta my pants so they let me go with no pants just a sheet to cover me I could make it a block and a half I was in so much pain,” she said.

She returned to the Chilliwack Hospital the next day after sleeping outside in a wheelchair.

Stewart said when she arrived, a nurse said she never should have left the hospital.

The x-ray showed her injuries were extensive.

“My broken ankles, my broken knees my broken pelvis I have fractures all the way up me left side on my leg I was basically crushed from the bottom down,” she said.

Stewart spent nearly a month at the hospital recovering.

She said during that time, she experienced racism.

Eddie Julian said hospital staff didn’t react well to her story in the media.

“One of the nurses at the hospital had look at Mary and said oh I saw your mugshot on the paper and one of Mary’s lawyers happened to be there at the time and she just kinda appalled and she asked if that was me is that what you woulda said about me? and she said no no no,” he said.

Officials said they have launched an investigation into what happened at the Chilliwack Hospital.

They said it is still ongoing.

Stewart said she has hired a lawyer and is considering legal action.

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9 Responses to “First Nations woman says B.C. healthcare failed her – again”

    John November 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

    As a status native who has suffered intergenerational trauma. Born and raised in an urban environment Toronto. I had to go to the hospital emergency department in Mission. As a progressive person of color former college football player l have traveled many places even played in the state of Mississippi and South Carolina and never experienced the racism that I experienced by the front line intake staff even the doctor white English speaking it was creepy…….. Like they wanted you out of there…. If they could have put a sign up without being sued they would have. My advice unless there is serious oversight of policy and procedures in dealing with people of color. Stop putting your heads in the sand l would have received better care in Mississippi in the 1950 then l received in Mission. Hillbillies run the ground forces front line and there extremely lacking the state of west Virginia of Canada the whole area. Progressive people do not want to work in close minded environments period. My advice have first nations health authority or the federal government pay for any first nations person to be transferred to a urban environment. It was very scary…… Yes Canada has hillbillies… Lots of them deep rooted issues about first nations there anything but professional only to there own. Born and raised in Toronto and living in Vancouver nothing but first class treatment in Vancouver That’s why I was in a state of shock….. It’s real scary real!

    John November 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    As a status person from Ontario a person of color urban person. I can say I needed medical assistance at one of the hospitals outside Vancouver not the above mentioned …. Will not say which one ….As a former college football player who played in the United States it was the worst feeling l ever had.. born and raised in Toronto it was real creepy it was like l walked into the 1952 era of racism in Canada I could not wait to get out of there. I can say from a educated point of view and a urban environment guy…… It appeared that Hillbillies where running the emergency department that I went too. No joke! My advice to any person of color especially native or African Canadian demand to be driven to Vancouver. Worse then Mississippi in the 1950. They will lynch you. I hope and pray for this women to heal from the Emotional trauma l experienced it… . Stay in the urban multicultural community otherwise you may not make it out alive.

    Joe November 21, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

    I sure would like to hear the other side of the story. This one does not pass the smell test. No one tells you to leave or they will call the police unless there is disparaging behaviour going on.

    carol November 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

    I think we should take our clothing donations to the Chilliwack emergency department so no one else will ever leave there in only their underwear!! humiliating. ..the more I hear about this story the more disturbing it gets..who in their right mind would say ”I saw your mugshot in the paper!!..that person should be moved to the laundry dept ..maybe with a bar of soap!

    Carmen November 19, 2017 at 5:01 am #

    Holy man…you need to sue the hospital dr and nurses…now you have proof and perhaps some pickets need to go up

    Ken November 19, 2017 at 1:29 am #

    It’s a shame you hear so many horror stories if it was one of their own it would be priority , The healthcare system has filled so many others like the old saying they say will look into it and will make sure this will never happen again what a joke .

    Chrystal Harris November 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

    There are hundreds of First Nations that experienced the same. I know of 3. One where I had to speed to the border with an elder that was mistreated and sent away from Chilliwack general. He also had Medicare in the states where we were taking him to a hospital. Emergency response met us at the border where he was dead upon arrival and they used paddles to bring him back. Another was a victim of an attack where he received 71 staples in his head. He complained of a lot of pain and was delerious. They accused him of doing this to himself to get drugs. The male nurse attending tied him to the bed because he needed assistance to use the washroom too much. When I went to see him by the 3rd day he was crying begging me to not leave him alone. I fired his doctor and told them he’s signing himself out. I took him home and it took 10 hours to gently was out all the blood in his hair with a toothbrush. Got a new doctor and found he had broken ribs with one bone sticking straight outwards, and a crushed hand. The new doctor took very good care of him. I know this because he was my husband. Most of our local first nations know about this treatment at Chilliwack general and preferr Abbotsford hospital for better treatment. I have more stories but know that many do not come forward because they fear nothing will be done about it. So I pray for you Mary in your stepping forward because you represent so many. Thank you for having the coudage to stand up and talk about it.

    sheila November 18, 2017 at 4:33 am #

    I would never wish any of this ordeal on anyone,my sister is slowly healing but has a long road ahead of her.

    Jessie Stone November 18, 2017 at 1:54 am #

    Sue the hospital.This is Canada.They do not have one morsel of an excuse.