'We weren't heard:' Northern Manitoba mom claims health-care negligence after daughter’s near-death experience
A mother from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba is sharing her and her family’s experience at the isolated community’s nursing station, claiming their concerns about their daughter’s breathing were not listened to until the situation became critical.
Akita Colomb said her then 7-month-old daughter, Lucillia Francois, started having laboured breathing on August 29th.
The 24-year-old mother of three told CTV News over eight days the family went back and forth to the nursing station several times.
"Eight exhausting, long days and nights in and out of that nursing station, 2-3 times a day,” she said. “We weren't heard."
Colomb said each time the baby was looked at, but when her vitals stabilized, the family was sent home only to have to come back a few hours later when her breathing became distressed again.
In the early morning of September 6th Colomb said Lucillia’s condition had worsened to the point where she was gasping for air.
"She was on the verge of actually passing out from the lack of oxygen she was getting," she said.
In a panic, Colomb said she called the community’s medical van but after waiting 20 minutes, she ran over to her neighbours who gave them a ride to the nursing station instead.
It was then Colomb said Lucillia was transferred to Health Sciences Centre Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg.
"Her body was on the verge of stopping breathing because she was so tired. She was literally fighting for air so immediately we decided to intubate her."
Colomb said Lucilla was put into a medically induced coma for five days and was on a ventilator for 10 days.
She said she was diagnosed with RSV, pneumonia and a blood infection.
Lucillia has since recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital and the family is waiting in Winnipeg for the all-clear from specialists before they head home.
Now that the family is on the other side of the emergency, Colomb is questioning why she and her daughter were sent home so many times when they repeatedly came to the Mathias Colomb Nursing Station for care.
"That is our only health-care system in that isolated community. The closest hospital is two and a half hours away,” she said. “I am thankful that I got her here. I fought for her but we shouldn't have even gone through what we have gone through."
STORY IS ALL-TOO-COMMON: MKO HEALTH SYSTEM NAVIGATOR
Bernice Thorassie, whose job it is to help northern First Nation families who are sent out of their community for health-care, told CTV News that Colomb’s story is not isolated.
“I am hearing that a lot,” the MKO Client Navigator told CTV News. “People go to the nursing station for pain for whatever reason it is, even a chest pain, they are given Tylenol plain."
She also told CTV a lot of clients go back to the nursing station for an ongoing problem, but it’s only when their condition is critical that they are sent out of the community to an urban hospital.
This week, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin (KIM), and the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) signed a declaration to eliminate all forms of Indigenous-specific racism in Northern Manitoba health-care.
Thorassie said the signing was a good first step, but there is more work to do since many of the nursing stations on remote First Nations, including the one on Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, are run by the federal government.
"I am sure they will listen to us and I am sure they will team with us and start the steps on eliminating the anti-Indigenous racism within our health-care," she said.
In March 2018 MKO and the federal government signed a memorandum of understanding. The goal was to transform health-care for people living on Northern Manitoba First Nations by bringing clinical care closer to home so people don't have to leave their communities.
Wednesday morning a spokesperson for Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs told CTV News in a written statement that the Government of Canada recognizes racism, resulting from Canada’s colonial history, remains embedded in our country’s health systems and continues to have catastrophic effects on First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and communities.
They went on to write that ensuring cultural safety, recognizing Indigenous knowledge and supporting Indigenous-led health services are central to achieving the goal of eliminating anti-Indigenous racism in health systems.
“The Government of Canada remains committed to working with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners and all those who work in health-care to increase safety and respect for Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s health systems,” the statement said.
COLOMB STILL WAITING FOR THE COMPLAINT TO BE ADDRESSED
Colomb said she filed a formal complaint about her experience at the nursing station, but has yet to hear back.
"We go in for one reason and that is to be assessed and our health concerns to be heard but it is not happening. I just want them to do their job," she said.
The ISC spokesperson told CTV News they could not comment on specific details or cases in order to protect patient confidentiality under the Privacy Act, but they did say, “We are aware of the concerns raised about care provided at the nursing station in Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, and we are working with partners to examine this incident under ISC’s incident management policy.”
Colomb wants others to hear about her family’s experience so they know they have to be persistent to get the health-care they deserve.
"Your health concerns can be heard but you are going to have to keep pushing,” she said. “Despite if they keep pushing you aside and trying to silence you. If something is wrong and you know it in your gut, then something is probably wrong."
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
A veteran and former Paralympian told a parliamentary committee that a caseworker from the Veterans Affairs Canada offered her medical assistance in dying, a week after the veterans affairs minister confirmed that at least four other veterans were offered the same thing.
As Canada enters the fifth week of the flu epidemic, influenza activity is rising, with mainly young children and older adults facing the brunt of the strain, according to the latest FluWatch report.
'Maybe the bully could do some good': Canadian actor on fundraiser, and sale of 'A Christmas Story' house
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the house featured in the holiday film 'A Christmas Story' is up for sale. Leg lamp and all.
FBI Director Chris Wray is raising national security concerns about TikTok, warning Friday that control of the popular video sharing app is in the hands of a Chinese government "that doesn't share our values."
A U.S. woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina on an Antarctic cruise, authorities said.
The Bank of Canada is expected to conclude a historic year marked by high inflation and aggressive monetary policy tightening with one more interest rate hike on Wednesday.
Myanmar's military-installed government has sentenced more critics to death, bringing the total to 139, and is using capital punishment as a tool to crush opposition, the UN high commissioner for human rights said Friday.
Prince William capped a three-day visit to Boston by meeting with President Joe Biden to share his vision for safeguarding the environment before attending a gala event Friday evening where he sounded an optimistic tone about solving the world's environmental problems through "hope, optimism and urgency."
America's newest nuclear stealth bomber made its debut Friday after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon's answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China.
Three local businesses in Regina announced they are closing their doors for good.
'Part of him with me': Sask. man fixing up grandpa's classic truck after finding it for sale on social media
A 24-year-old man from Preeceville, Sask. was reunited with his grandfather's classic, custom-made Ford truck after finding it on social media and plans to restore it to its former glory.
The Regina Police Service (RPS) is asking the public for information or video that could assist in the investigation into a building explosion in the north central area on Nov. 13.
A man died Thursday morning in Saskatoon following a shooting, according to police.
The Saskatoon Tribal Council's Fairhaven Wellness Centre opens its doors and is nearly at capacity.
'We're going after the offenders': Sask. to suspend welfare benefits for 'serious' offenders with warrants
The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced legislation to suspend social assistance benefits to prolific violent offenders with active warrants, and to use information from the Ministry of Social Services to find those evading the law.
On Friday afternoon at the Sudbury Courthouse, two men pled guilty in an arson case that killed three people in a townhouse on Bruce Avenue in April 2021.
A Timmins doctor charged with sexual assault in July is facing several more charges after five more people came forward, police said Friday.
The Timmins and District Hospital's assessment clinic has been busy seeing people with respiratory illnesses.
The cause of a suspicious death at an Edmonton encampment this week is being withheld for 'investigative reasons,' the city's police service said on Friday.
It was grannies' night behind the Edmonton Oilers bench at Rogers Place last Monday night. A group of friends from Whitecourt, Alta., attended the game against the Florida Panthers in grannies costumes and stayed in character all night.
Ponoka RCMP are searching for two people who witnesses saw flee from a vehicle that hit two people the afternoon of Nov. 30.
Students walked out of a Toronto high school they say has become the site of 'constant chaos' in which students detail deplorable conditions, teachers say it’s violent and parents are demanding action from the school board.
Police in Peel Region have released surveillance video of a suspect who attempted to cover a woman’s head with a bag and violently assaulted her in Brampton on Thursday evening.
Peel police say one construction worker is unaccounted for after an industrial accident in Mississauga on Friday afternoon.
Respite admissions at Rotary Flames House in Calgary will be paused and staff redeployed to help with the ongoing struggle at Alberta Children's Hospital.
Alberta’s premier is doubling down on claims her sovereignty act will boost the province’s fortunes – and she already knows how she might use the bill.
A Red Deer man has been charged in a deadly head-on crash on Deerfoot Trail on Friday.
Run, Hide, Fight: Quebec college aims to prepare students for active shooter as police investigate lockdown
Laval police parked a command post outside College Montmorency Friday with hopes to shed light on the shooting that sent four to hospital and pushed the school into lockdown. Meanwhile, Dawson College sent out a memo to students and staff on shooter preparedness, and Quebec's education minister pondered bumping up training in schools.
The fences are up, the flights are booked, and the programs are set –- Montreal will host thousands of people attending and presenting at the upcoming COP15 biodiversity conference at the Palais des Congres. Here’s what you need to know to get around.
Quebec's human rights commission was forced to close 194 discrimination complaints following the Supreme Court of Canada's Mike Ward decision, commission leaders revealed Friday while presenting their activity report for the year 2021-2022.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | City of Ottawa should draft 2023 budget with a 2 to 2.5 per cent tax hike, report recommends
Ottawa city council is being asked to direct staff to develop the 2023 city of Ottawa budget with a 2 to 2.5 per cent increase in property taxes next year.
Ottawa police report 'surge' in vehicle thefts from malls, grocery stores and recreation centre parking lots
Ottawa police are urging motorists to be vigilant while parking at shopping malls, grocery stores, and recreation and sporting venues this holiday season, following an increase in daylight vehicle thefts.
At a time when there is a critical shortage of nurses in Ontario, the Arnprior Regional Hospital is taking a different approach to retain their staff.
Two people are in custody after a shooting in the Fredericton area left two people injured and prompted police to issue an emergency alert in New Brunswick.
Four organizations representing Greater Moncton’s business community held a press conference Friday calling for urgent action in regards to downtown safety and the homelessness situation.
Nova Scotia’s latest Respiratory Watch data shows that in the last three weeks of November, lab-confirmed cases more than doubled each week.
Kitchener firefighters were called to put out flames at a construction trailer early Friday morning, and inside, they found a body.
Woodstock police say new child porn charges have been laid against a former doctor.
Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for much of southwestern Ontario saying strong gusts are expected Saturday morning and continuing into the afternoon.
Bus drivers are speaking out about the terrible road conditions that put them in danger during this week's snowstorm.
The minister responsible for child care in B.C. reaffirmed that the province is looking at ways to increase wages for early childhood educators, as child-care subsidies kick in.
A Chilliwack senior came up with a sweet idea to spread some cheer in her community this Christmas season.
For the second time this week, a threat of a shooting found written in a women's bathroom has forced the evacuation of a Victoria-area school. Saanich and Oak Bay police descended on the University of Victoria campus Friday morning after a message was found written in a women's bathroom in the school's Cornett Building.
BC Ferries says one of its largest vessels stalled midway between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland Friday afternoon due to a mechanical issue.
Heavy snowfalls and high winds are once again in the forecast for much of Vancouver Island as Environment Canada issued a new round of weather warnings Friday. The weather office says up to 15 centimetres of wet snow could accumulate on much of the island.