Transcription – English – Susan van der Rassle

11. Susan van der Rassle.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

11. Susan van der Rassle.mp4: this mp4 video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Trish Wood:
Okay. Please tell us your story today.

Susan van der Rassle:
Thank you. I'm just going to give you a bit of a background here in terms of my sister. 2017, she ended up on dialysis for life due to being an addict for a very long time. So, you know, after that, her health started to fill a little bit more. And so I became Power of attorney back last year. Now the one and there's just a few items that I want to put in there before I get to the actual rehab center where she currently is. Easter weekend last year, I had received a call stating that my sister had been on the floor. They, a social worker in this group home that she lives in, had knocked on the door and she was on the floor. However, the paramedics had been there the day before, and because she refused to go, they didn't take her so. And her vitals were low. Her vitals were in serious condition. She's diabetic. She had a low blood sugar count. Her blood pressure was quite low. So I had the call the following day. And so I spoke to an attending paramedic because we had to coach her, you know, to go in to the hospital because she refused. Now, definitely, when your vitals, you know, are in a position that they are, I believe that the emotional body is going to come. And she just refused to go and also because she received dialysis three times a week at 4 hours a day. So I asked the attending paramedic why she hadn't been taken a day before, and I was appalled at the actual answer, saying that because of COVID and the fact that she refused, that she didn't have to go and he couldn't he didn't elaborate on that.

Susan van der Rassle:
And so I was I was really concerned about that. But we eventually got her to the hospital, and she's had multiple emergency visits continuously, continuously. And I finally asked the question with a social worker as to why, you know, they weren't keeping her in instead of just working with her emerging issues and then sending her home right away. And I didn't get a clear answer with that. I had a meeting last summer in July 21st with an attending medical team at one of the hospitals. And I was concerned because she had multiple medications for one condition. And then it just came back to me that I had no power of attorney over her, over her meds. And I said, Well, of course, because I don't know anything about that. So as of early November, she was no longer living independently. She was in a hospital, but then finally transferred to the rehab center. And this is all in Toronto. Now, keep in mind, please, I live in North Bay, Ontario, and so it wasn't easy to travel. But also I was if I had traveled, I was refused to go in because of the vaccine mandates. And then it was stated that the only way that that would be possible is when she became palliative, which is not you know, I mean, it's not very nice thing to hear, you know, let's wait till she's dying and then you can come in without without even though you don't have a vaccine.

Susan van der Rassle:
So she you know, I mean, my sister was very lonely. I mean, she was looking for people. She had the visitor, you know, for a social workers. But the thing is, I know that she did get vaccinated. I had asked her at one point when she was more cognizant not to do it. But again, I didn't have control over that. So it would be the hospital. And she was scared to tell me that she had received two of them. Now, I believe she's also received the booster. So there are times when she's quite sick due to infection in her gallbladder and just spread to her liver. And she's you know, I you know, I don't have any proof of this, but I mean, I often feel that, you know, those vaccinations have not helped at all. Definitely not helped. So currently she's you know, she's in good form and I can speak with her. However, when I get to a few occasions when I was told not to speak anything medical with my sister, that's a large concern. I thought this might be an attendant to one of the attending doctors at this rehab center, but it wasn't. She was actually a wellness worker. And I my jaw dropped. When I heard that it was hurt, it said, you know, you have to make sure that you don't talk any medical issues. Because we were doing something called Google Duo. It's kind of like FaceTime and I often and it was the wellness coordinator that would set her up excuse me, with a tablet so that we could talk often.

Susan van der Rassle:
But that kind of finished because she ended up in the hospital again. And recently I was speaking with this same wellness coordinator and talking about the attending doctor and you know, and things that we'd have to talk about. And again, there was an issue that came up where she stated, Please don't talk to the doctor about this. And again, because I often fear that if I become aggressive or want to live show because, you know, the frustration can lead to that. I step back because they may come up and say, well, you know what, Susan? You're too aggressive, you're too angry. You know, we can't deal with you. So it's just I mean, it's it's an ongoing issue with regards to visits. One of her friends who's on a list, which is the Essential Care Partners list, he had been there twice before. My sister last went to the hospital and he's been refused again, trying to speak with the manager who looks after this. She's asking me if he's been double vaccinated and what's the relation? Well, if he had been in there twice before, why are you asking me? So it's been quite the runaround. I've had to ask the person, this person that wants to visit her, he's a close neighbor of hers. When she was living independently. I've had to ask him to call last night to make sure that he's on this screening list to go in to visit her.

Trish Wood:
Here's what I am trying to understand. I understand that you're not able to see her because you're unvaccinated. Is that correct?

Susan van der Rassle:
That that that's correct. But it's also what I spoke to you about. Sorry. Did you have something to say?

Trish Wood:
Well, no, I was just going to say. And so are you also saying that the phone calls have now that that all contact with her has been somehow truncated? Also, because you're unvaccinated, it's beyond the physical thing they're trying.

Susan van der Rassle:
Is that what you're saying? I don't believe it's because I'm unvaccinated. I believe that it's because I make a lot of phone calls to find out how she is. A lot of times her phone is not charged. I ask them to charge it and then I'm being the protocol and the program is being changed. I have to go to someone else to get that information, to ask to have her phone plugged in, etc..

Trish Wood:
So what you're saying is you can't see her because you're unvaccinated and they are not wanting to make themselves available to you to give you information. You're not getting an A visit, is that right?

Susan van der Rassle:
Yeah, I have to push for it.

Trish Wood:
You have to push for it.

Susan van der Rassle:
…the Attending, doctor.

Trish Wood:
So I want to turn this over to the panel.

Susan van der Rassle:
Yes.

Preston Manning:
Well, thank you, Susan, for sharing. That just sounds like a very frustrating situation from beginning to end. Has this changed at all from sort of the beginning to like now some of the COVID regulations are supposed to be being relaxed. Is there been any change, particularly in the last few months, or is it still exactly the same as it was at the beginning?

Susan van der Rassle:
It's exactly the same.

Preston Manning:
Yeah. Gosh.

Trish Wood:
And are you confident in the information that you're getting about your sister or are you frustrated that you're not maybe getting the whole story?

Susan van der Rassle:
Well, I believe the actual frustration has to do with somebody saying they're going to get back to me at a certain time, like the attending doctor. And then I just, you know, I'm talking to my sister and I just he just happens to walk into the room to do his rounds, and then I know I have to speak with him. So that's frustration, but also dealing with managers who say they're going to get this gentleman back on a list. So and don't call me. So the communication is hard.

Trish Wood:
So if I'm reading it correctly, the the gist of what you're saying and what we can learn from it is if you're going to keep unvaccinated people out of health care settings, then you must ameliorate the communication problem to write, to facilitate. Yes. Thank you very much for that.

Susan van der Rassle:
But also to go you know, to also say that she's in a unit in this rehab center for complex care. So, I mean, given the fact that it's stated that people are going to be you know, people are going to be a lot more, what do we say, susceptible to to whatever is going on? I mean, with one of the gentleman spoke here about immune resistance. You know, I mean, I have a wonderful immune system. I'm 65. I feel great. You know, I don't have any issues. So, you know, and she's 66. But again, yeah, it's I find it cruel punishment. Yeah. Honestly.

Trish Wood:
I think most people would agree with that. Thank you so much, Susan. We're grateful you could you could do this or move.

Susan van der Rassle:
Oh, you're welcome.

Trish Wood:
Thank thank.

Susan van der Rassle:
You. Appreciate it. Thank you. Okay.

Trish Wood:
Bye bye.

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