'I'm abandoned,' St. John's woman in rampless house tells workers comp
A St. John's woman who lost part of her leg in a workplace accident says she feels stranded and ignored in a home with no ramp.
Shirley Ryan lives in the Kilbride neighbourhood of St. John's, but has trouble leaving her house because she cannot exit the steep steps to her door.
Apart from losing her livelihood, Ryan, who had a below-the-knee amputation on her right leg last month, has been missing therapy sessions because of her lack of mobility.
"I feel so neglected and so, like, I'm abandoned," Ryan told CBC News.
Ryan, who raised concerns about her plight in local media interviews earlier this month, has now received the written support of her medical team.
Orthopedic surgeon Craig Stone told the Workplace Health and Safety Compensation Committee that "Ms. Ryan needs a wheelchair-accessible ramp to enter and exit her home for the safety and prevention of any additional accidents."
As well, social worker Tara Earle, who works with a St. John's rehabilitation centre, wrote that Ryan's "safety in and around her home is of paramount concern."
Although the appeals were made 10 days ago, workers compensation officials have yet to approve such a measure.
"It's plain English: 'paramount concern' … I'm sure at WHSCC, they're all well educated and I'm sure they understand English. [But] you can't get any plainer than that," Ryan said.
Ryan said the commission is offering to put her up in an apartment while a ramp is being built. She does not know how long that would take, and does not feel she should have to leave her home.
"I am after phoning companies and saying, how long would it take you to build a ramp? And most of them have said less than a day," she said.
Leslie Galway, the chief executive officer of the commission, told CBC News earlier this month that she cannot comment on specific cases, but said each case is considered individually.
Ryan was scheduled Friday to be fitted for a prosthesis. Otherwise, she said her recovery will have to wait.