Anger over diner 'misunderstanding' after girl with cancer can't recharge medical device
It’s a case of too little, too late for a Nova Scotia mother who says a restaurant first refused, then utterly mishandled her request to recharge a necessary medical device for her 11-year-old daughter with cancer.
Shannon Hohmann told CTV Atlantic that she and her daughter Karissa Bezanson went out to grab some breakfast together at a local diner called S&J’s Diner in Kentville, N.S. on March 3. Bezanson brought along her feeding machine, which she has had to rely on to receive vital calories and vitamins since her leukemia diagnosis in November. While they were at the restaurant, Bezanson said the batteries in the device started to die.
“My machine started beeping and my mom asked to plug it in,” Bezanson recounted to CTV Atlantic on Monday. “She [the server] said, ‘No, you can’t. Sorry. The boss doesn’t allow stuff like that.’”
Hohmann said she was shocked to hear the employee’s answer and asked the woman if she was serious about not letting her daughter recharge the feeding machine.
“I had to ask twice and then I told her I couldn’t stay then,” Hohmann said.
Once the pair returned home, Hohmann decided to vent her frustrations on Facebook. She wrote that they had received the “worst service ever” and that she was “mad as hell” about what happened.
The owner of the establishment, Stephanie Dunham, responded to Hohmann’s Facebook post the next day. Dunham said that she was told by a staff member that Hohmann and her daughter had left “as a result of a misunderstanding” and that she had called to apologize to the family as soon as she found out.
Hohmann posted a follow up response to Dunham’s message on Facebook where she took issue with the restaurant owner’s use of the term “misunderstanding.” She also asked Dunham to admit they were wrong and to simply apologize.
On Monday, Dunham told CTV Atlantic that she was “heartsick” about what took place in her restaurant. She admitted that she has barred customers from charging devices such as phones and laptops in the past, but that she would have never turned away a cancer patient.
Dunham said she called Hohmann on the telephone after the incident, but her apology was rebuffed.
“I don’t know what else to do but again say how very sorry I am that this happened,” Dunham said. “It shouldn’t have happened.”
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko