Reservist lobbies for medical coverage after brain tumour misdiagnosed
Published Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:04AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 24, 2015 10:01PM EST
A military reservist who received unnecessary eye surgery after a doctor misdiagnosed her brain tumour is fighting for the full medical benefits she would have been entitled to had she received the correct diagnosis.
Robyn Young, 24, suffered from double vision, headaches and severe nausea while she was a full-time reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces from 2007 to 2011.
In 2009, she was referred to a doctor who was under contract with the military who misdiagnosed her and sent her for corrective, and unnecessary, eye surgery.
Her symptoms persisted and she left the full-time reserves to pursue a career in nursing. She remains a part-time reservist.
Last spring, she passed out and was rushed to hospital, where she was given a CT scan. The test revealed a tumour, which was removed eight months ago.
But her unnecessary eye surgery has left her with persistent double vision, which causes nausea and vomiting that can leave her bedridden.
Young said her condition has also drained her financially.
“I wanted to save and be an adult, and I have to use that (money) for this brick wall that came,” she told CTV News. “I didn’t choose this to happen.”
Earlier Tuesday, Young told CTV’s Canada AM that she gets sick every day.
“Some days it’s better than others. The mornings are the worst and I wake up and I get sick and I move on with my day.”
Young needs what is called vision rehabilitation, which will help her adapt to the double vision “and learn to overcome it,” she said.
But Young is no longer entitled to the full medical benefits she had when she was a full-time reservist, including coverage for her prescriptions, rehabilitation and a recovery plan to help her return to work.
So she and her mother, Pearl Osmond, are in Ottawa this week to ask that the full cost of her rehab, as well as her move to B.C., where she will undergo treatment, be covered.
Had her daughter been diagnosed correctly when she first presented with her symptoms, she would have received her full medical coverage, Osmond said Tuesday.
“I think that the doctor should have sent her for a CT scan to rule out the mass and if they had diagnosed it in 2009 it would have been diagnosed and would not have rendered her in an emergency situation,” Osmond told Canada AM.
“I think that they should take care of these soldiers that have served our country and not discriminate against a soldier for serving full-time or part-time.”
Liberal MP Joyce Murray raised Young’s case during question period Tuesday, asking Defence Minister Jason Kenney if he would “fix this injustice for Robyn and any others who may be in her situation.”
Kenney said the military has ordered a review and added that the DND and the Canadian Armed Forces will “continue to pay her medical costs and meet her medical needs relating to her present condition.”
The Armed Forces recently said they would provide Young with medical coverage, including prescriptions, starting this March, and five months of her vision rehabilitation. The coverage does not include the cost to move Young to B.C. for her treatment.
Osmond points out the family has covered medical costs over the last eight months, since her surgery to remove the tumour.
With a report from CTV’s Richard Madan