Mother of disabled boy waiting for report on his death 10 months later

The mother of a boy with severe disabilities who died at the Valley Regional Hospital last spring while waiting to be transferred to a more suitable facility says she's frustrated by a lack of action.

Dominick Benoit, 11, died in March 2015 after spending two years in a hospital

Dominick Benoit, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, died after a two-year hospital stay. Nova Scotia's minister of health ordered a review following the death. (CBC)

The mother of a boy with severe disabilities who died at the Valley Regional Hospital last spring while waiting to be transferred to a more suitable facility says she's frustrated by a lack of action.

Renee Benoit said it appears a review of the case is sitting, unread, on the desk of Leo Glavine, the province's health minister. Glavine asked for a review not long after Dominick Benoit died on March 15, 2015.

"Let's get a move on," said Benoit. "It's been almost 10 months since my son's death and nothing has happened.

"I want this to move forward. I don't want to spend the rest of my life fighting the same battle."

Two years at the hospital

Dominick Benoit, an 11-year-old quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, was moved into a hospital room in Kentville because the special care home he had lived for three years could no longer meet his medical needs.

But instead of being temporary, his hospital stay lasted two years.

Officials were in the process of finalizing a transfer to a Bible Hill facility, which was much closer to the mother's Masstown home, when Dominick developed serious lung problems.

He was sent to the IWK Health Centre for treatment, but later died.

Benoit said she feels she is in the same boat now as she was when she was fighting to get her son out of hospital.

"The whole system needs to be revamped so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again," she said. "And for me, for Dominick, it's not over until this is done."

Not consulted

She said she remains convinced her son got sick as a result of his long stay in hospital and worries that without change, what happened to her family could happen to others.

"That more families are going to have children who end up being in a hospital because there's nowhere else for them to go and they might be like Dominick and can't handle getting the flu. Be stuck during flu season in the hospital, catch the flu and pass away because nobody made decisions or moved their butts."

Benoit said she wasn't sure what to expect from the review ordered by the minister, but she wasn't asked for her input.

"They didn't interview everyone involved," she said.

In an email to CBC News, the Health Department said: "A report is being finalized by the department. When the report is finalized, it will be shared with the family."

About the Author

Jean Laroche


Jean Laroche has been a CBC reporter for 32 years. He's been covering Nova Scotia politics since 1995 and has been at Province House longer than any sitting member.


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