YOUR STORY: Elderly ALS patient refused ambulance transport home from hospital

An elderly ALS patient who relies on Urgences Santé to get home from appointments at the hospital was recently refused that service without explanation. 

Daria Humphrey was at the Lachine Hospital for a recent appointment with her husband for an emergency feeding tube replacement for him. For the past four years, they've had Urgences Santé take them to and fro. Not this time.

"They had refused (the nurse), point blank. They said we don't do that anymore, we don't take people home from the hospital," said Humphrey, who contacted CJAD 800 News via yourstory@cjad.com.

"They had told the nurse to send my husband home in a wheelchair in a taxi which is utterly ridiculous because he has ALS and he's bedridden. His body can't support itself, sitting in a chair is not possible. And also he has a lot of equipment that keeps him breathing."

Humphrey said a doctor had to fight to get them an ambulance home - five hours later. Her husband had been without food or water for over 24 hours and was getting sore lying on the stretcher.

"I was looking after him and feeling very anxious wondering if it was going to be midnight before we got home and it was just really uncomfortable.  A really uncomfortable situation," said Humphrey.

An internal Urgences Santé memo obtained by CJAD 800 News says this type of transport is no longer available because they are prioritizing resources. 

Urgences Santé tells CJAD 800 News they regret the incident, explaining they have a limited number of resources and non-priority transport has to be triaged. They also say people already in a health institution are a lower priority.

Humprey said they were not told about that at the time and doesn't want this to happen again.

"I can't go through this again, having to argue with them and not knowing if they're going to pick us up," said Humphrey.

"How can I go to the hospital with my husband if I don't know if I'm going to be able to get home? Crazy."