Through tears, Elena Pauly said all she wants to do is see her mother.
Pauly’s mother, Margarete, has, for several months, been a patient at the Willow Pavilion, a long-term care facility associated with Vancouver Coastal Health. But on Friday evening, when she began to aspirate, she was moved to the acute care floor of Vancouver General Hospital. Her daughter has, so far, been unable to see her mother.
“You can go to a restaurant, you can go to the theatre, you can go out anywhere,” Pauly said during a phone conversation Monday afternoon with CBN’s Faithwire, noting she was able to get to the door of her mother’s room Sunday night before being stopped and asked to leave for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. “My mother’s triple vaccinated, she has COVID, so I’m not sure what we’re worried about. Shouldn’t it be my consent if I would like to be around somebody who has COVID?”
Listen to the latest episode of the Faithwire podcast 👇
Margarete, who has Parkinson’s, was recently diagnosed with cancer and COVID-19.
Pauly, adopted from Siberia, said she has been most impacted by the lack of compassion from those she’s spoken with at the hospital. Faithwire has reached out to VCH and is awaiting comment.
In lieu of seeing her mother in-person, hospital staff purportedly allowed Pauly to briefly FaceTime with her mother, an experience Pauly described as “extremely painful.”
“She’s out of it,” Pauly said through tears. “She doesn’t understand what’s going on. She can’t even focus on the FaceTime, really. I just kept on saying, ‘I love you, I love you.’ And that was it. It’s been really, really hard.”
The most disheartening and perplexing aspect of her experience, Pauly explained, is the lack of consistency regarding VCH’s policies, noting her aunt and uncle flew to Vancouver from Edmonton and have been permitted to see Margarete for several days in a row, despite having been on a crowded airplane. Although they are vaccinated, Pauly argued, the shots do not perfectly prevent transmission.
A close friend of Pauly, Brooke, has also been permitted to visit her own father, who is recovering from open-heart surgery, despite the fact that she — like Pauly — is not inoculated against COVID-19. When the friend reportedly confronted nurses about the situation, they failed to clearly explain the reason for the discrepancy.
Additionally, on the VCH COVID-19 FAQs page, it states the “vaccination requirement does not apply to … visits for compassionate care, including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end-of-life and medical assistance in dying … visits paramount to the patient’s physical and mental well-being … [and] visits to support the patient’s decision-making.”
Pauly, it should be noted, is Margarete’s power of attorney, her next of kin, and shares decision-making responsibilities with her aunt. She also believes her presence with her mother is critical for her “physical and mental well-being.”
These last several days have been incredibly difficult for Pauly, who has been very cautious since the start of the pandemic. The fiancée of a quadriplegic man who suffered a spinal cord injury during an international trip in 2016, she is the founder WAGSofSCI, which stands for: Wives and girlfriends of spinal cord injury. Caring for people is her passion.
“This is what I love to do, to be able to help other people,” she said. “The lack of compassion yesterday — they don’t know who I am, they don’t know anything about me — but the fact that one person can be the gatekeeper and say, ‘No, you can’t come in. I’m going to escort you out,’ was beyond me.”
As seriously as she has taken COVID-19, Pauly looks back now — particularly in light of her experience in recent days — and feels the last two years have “given a lot of division between people, it’s separating families, it’s making people fight over things that you normally wouldn’t.”
“This is the time when family needs to be coming together and fighting for their family members — not against them,” she continued. “It’s been extremely, extremely difficult, because I know my mom wants to see me and I want to see my mom.”
This story will be updated should a VCH representative offer a statement on the situation. In the meantime, please be in prayer for the Pauly family.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***