Ronnie Morris, Toronto musician, may not get OHIP help with rehab after 2 strokes
37-year-old bass player and PhD student may not qualify for full rehabilitation coverage due to age
A Toronto musician who is in hospital struggling to regain his speech and mobility following two devastating strokes is facing another hurdle: the province may not pay for some of his rehabilitation.
Ronnie Morris, 37, who played bass for local bands controller.controller and Lioness, recently suffered two separate, consecutive strokes at the base of his brain which required life-saving surgeries.
His mother, Rosemary Morris, said he now has severe paralysis on his right side as well as cognitive struggles.
"To see him right now where he feels like he's trapped within himself is just devastating," she said.
Morris, who was teaching part time at York University while finishing his PhD, doesn't have health insurance and may not qualify for provincial help with rehabilitation costs.
Health officials have already warned the family that Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) limits rehabilitation funding for people between the ages of 20 and 64.
Several Ontarians who have suffered strokes have raised the issue, including 55-year-old Jim McEwan who previously told CBC Toronto he feels "abandoned" by the health care system and is currently paying for his treatment out of pocket.
PC MPP Christine Elliott even raised it at Queen's Park, telling the legislature "it is a question of age discrimination ... People do not get services they need if they're between 20 and 64."
In response, Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins said his ministry is studying the the issue.
For now the family has set up a crowd-funding campaign to help with Morris' recovery, which is expected to be lengthy.
Morris is currently being treated in hospital in Brampton.