Epileptic son needs treatment outside B.C., mother pleads

A B.C. mother is pleading for her epileptic son to be moved to another province for treatment.
B.C.'s Tracey Johnson says Chase needs to be treated in Halifax 1:57

A B.C. mother is pleading for her epileptic son to be moved to another province for treatment.

Tracey Johnson says her six-year old son, Chase, has up to six seizures every day.

He is supposed to be in the first grade this year, but he's in the hospital instead — diagnosed with a type of epilepsy that is resistant to medication.

Johnson says the seizures have caused Chase's speech to slow and he has lost the ability to write his name.

And while he's on several types of drugs to control the condition, Chase has suffered more than 100 seizures in the past month during his stay at B.C. Children's Hospital, where she said a neurologist is refusing to refer her son to a specialist in Halifax who she believes can help.

"I know this hospital does do great things for kids, but since she's not sure how to fix my son and somebody else wants to give it a good chance, it's time for her to let us go," Johnson said.

Requesting transfer to Nova Scotia

Johnson, who is originally from Nova Scotia, said she has found a neurologist there who specializes in epilepsy and is willing to look at Chase's case.

Johnson said it is possible to transfer between provinces and have the health system pay for it, as long as the doctor at B.C. Children's Hospital signs off on it.

Without that signature, the move would cost more than $40,000, she said.

"All I've ever hoped for was that she would just sign these papers that I've been begging her to sign to get him out of here," she said.

A spokesperson for B.C. Children's Hospital said while they can't talk about the specifics of the case, the hospital will always authorize a transfer between provinces if the medical needs of the case can't be met in British Columbia.

With files from the CBC's Lisa Johnson


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