A man who suffered brain injuries that have left him with no short-term memory is still stuck in a Halifax emergency department, more than six days after being admitted to hospital.
David Lecky has been waiting in a locked room in the Halifax Infirmary building. He can't be left on his own.
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There's a security guard outside his room to keep him from leaving. It's where he eats, washes, and goes to the bathroom.
Theresa Kersey, Lecky’s sister, says it's taking a toll.
"Atrophying his mind and his body now, as well as his spirit. I think his spirit is at a place ... What else is he to do?" she said.
After two serious head injuries, Lecky has no short term memory.
The last time he was released from hospital, Kersey says her brother tried to force his way into a trailer at a park in Harrietsfield.
"They smacked him at the back of his head with a crowbar and had to hold a gun to his head to stop him from going in the home," she said.
"Apparently David thought that this was his place, or his girlfriend was in there — a girlfriend he had 20 some years ago."
The wait now is for a safe space in a long-term care facility.
While the hospital can't comment on a particular case, Sandra Janes health services director for emergency and customer service, says long-term stays in emergency do pose a challenge.
"We do the best we can as far as making their care to be as much as the holistic care that they should get as possible. But there are many challenges, the system is just not set up for long-term care," she said,
Kersey says her brother received permission Monday for an escorted walk outside, and to a shower in a different part of the hospital.
"I'm trying not to get angry or frustrated, because I know it's a difficult situation for every person — the staff, myself, my brother — and the facilities just don't have space," she said.
The province's department of community services couldn't give an estimate on the wait times for a patient with a brain injury to enter a care facility.
The brain injury community says the wait can sometimes be weeks or even months.