Maple Ridge resident Alain Bourdeau was transferred by helicopter to the University of Alberta Hospital. He is stranded in Alberta unable to get home.

Maple Ridge resident Alain Bourdeau was transferred by helicopter to the University of Alberta Hospital. He is stranded in Alberta unable to get home.

Maple Ridge man stranded in Alberta hospital

Alain Bourdeau was injured while boating in Fort St. John and flown to Edmonton for treatment but he can't get back home

A Maple Ridge man who is still recovering from life-threatening injuries was discharged from an Alberta hospital with no way to get home.

Alain Bourdeau had been taking a vocational course in northern B.C., at Northern Lights College in Fort St. John.

After class on May 9, he and an instructor were doing some recreational boating on the Peace River when their boat slammed into a stump. Bourdeau was taken to hospital in Fort Saint John, but was transferred by air ambulance to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.

He could barely breath, and was found to have multiple broken ribs, a punctured lung and a collapsed lung.

When his wife, Linda Findlay, flew from Maple Ridge to be with him, she found him with a breathing tube and other tubes in his chest. He spent eight days in intensive care.

As he started to recover from the accident, Findlay asked how they would get home, and says she was assured that he would be transferred to a B.C. hospital, closer to home.

But they were shocked when, on Wednesday, he was discharged from hospital, without the benefit of a transfer. He cannot fly, because his lung injuries cannot take the altitude – he could only go by air in a helicopter.

Findlay was faced with a 26-hour bus ride, and a weakened husband who could only hobble about a block, with the benefit of a walker. She determined to stay an extra day in an outpatient’s residence. She hoped he could regain some strength.

“Because we’re out of province, we can’t get a wheelchair, a walker or even a cane,” she said.

However, he woke up Thursday morning in extreme pain, his bandages soaked in blood, and she took him back to the hospital emergency ward.

CTV News Edmonton covered their plight on their Wednesday evening broadcast. Findlay said the public should be made aware of this gap in the health care system.

“It might not help us, but maybe it will help the next guy.”

She said Bourdeau was taking a vocational rehabilitation program in oil and gas field operation, scheduled to wrap up June 4, but that too has been interrupted.

His income has been cut off, and she has missed a mortgage payment dealing with their situation.

“He’s pretty depressed,” she said.

What she wants is a hospital transfer.

“We’re stuck in the middle.”

Alberta Health Services released this statement:

“We treat patients from other provinces just as we would treat any patient – with the most appropriate care and treatment possible, to ensure the best outcome possible. That is our commitment to any patient, whether they be from Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, etc.

“When a patient has been discharged, it is their responsibility to then make arrangements to return home. We encourage patients to make arrangements with family and friends for travel back to their home.

“If a patient needs follow-up care in another hospital, whether it be in Alberta or another province, transport will be provided for that patient. The cost will be recouped from the patient’s home province.”