A GTA woman is fighting a decision that would see her discharged from a Toronto rehab facility before the end of the month.
Her family is worried budget concerns are driving the agenda.
Just over a year ago Barbara Butler, 41, was an active mother to two young children, a physiotherapist, and a volunteer in the community. Now she is confined to a wheelchair, after routine surgery for a torn ACL changed everything.
After the surgery her heart failed due to a rare undiagnosed condition, and she’s had cascading health issues.
Left a quadriplegic, she’s been fighting her way back with the help of staff at the Lyndhurst Centre.
“I work very hard here, love it,” said Butler.
She struggled to speak —; one of the things she has been working on —; and her voice has improved dramatically in the last few months.
She’s being discharged October 27, a decision she’s battling.
“I don’t know where I belong, I’m so scared,” said Butler. “Very anxious.”
The Butler family, seen in a photo from an online fundraising page. gofundme / Global News
The Butler family, seen in a photo from an online fundraising page.
gofundme / Global News
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Her husband said they can’t cope at home.
“She needs 24 hour care. She needs to be moved at night, every two or three hours she needs to be turned,” said Chuck Butler, Barbara’s husband.
“I was told we could probably get two hours of personal support worker time.”
They said the only other option is going back to their community hospital —; where they insist staff don’t have the expertise or equipment to give Butler the care she needs.
At the Lyndhurst Centre she gets physio, occupational and speech therapy every weekday. At a regular hospital the family has been told to expect physiotherapy twice a week.
“She needs tons of work to just keep everything moving, to maintain the gains she makes,” said Carla Delange, a physiotherapist and osteopathic manual practitioner who has been treating Butler.
“The more she works, the more she gets better.”
Butler’s family said they were told she could potentially be readmitted to the Lyndhurst Centre once she shows more significant improvements, but without therapy they don’t see how that would happen.
The family believes a tight budget is the real reason Butler is being told she has to leave.
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“Whatever care she needs to get her well should be given to her,” said her husband.
Lyndhurst Centre refused to allow Global News to talk with Butler on their property. Initially they agreed to an interview about their discharge policies, but later reneged and declined.
Butler said she wants nothing more than to go home, but can’t.
“Not ready yet, to go home, so need to stay here a little longer,” she said, her breath catching in sobs.
The family is hoping for a last minute reprieve.
“Every morning I wake up and before my eyes open, I go ‘OK it was just a dream’, I put my hand over and she’s going to be there,” said Chuck. “Then I wake up and it’s real.”
Chuck even wrote and performed a song about her journey in hopes of convincing hospital staff to reverse their decision.
“I love you, so I need you, please be well soon again. I miss the company, my lover and my friend. Please can it just be again the way it was before, I want you to, I need you to come back to me once more.”
In preparation for her eventual return home they have started a gofundme campaign.