‘A desperate situation’: Injured NB man stranded in Florida due to full hospitals at home | globalnews.ca

Last month, Patricia Bates and Joseph Guthro took a bus tour from New Brunswick up the east coast of the United States to Florida, which was supposed to be a dream vacation for them. The 82- and 84-year-old men hoped to use the time to travel the southern US as a late-winter getaway.

On March 28, Guthro got up to use the bathroom on board the bus. It was then that a car stopped in front of the tour bus, forcing the driver to slam on the brakes.

Guthro fell, compressing a disk into his body. After tests at the hospital, he was admitted to the Orlando care facility, where he has been for nearly two weeks.

The couple have been in a Florida hospital for nearly two weeks.

Patricia Bates / Submitted

His wife Patricia has been sitting next to him, sleeping in the chair to the left of his bed. She hoped that once she got better, they could transfer him to a hospital in New Brunswick.

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When the doctor cleared Guthro, the couple was told they couldn’t get a bed in New Brunswick because the hospitals were full.

“My left leg was hurting,” Guthro said, speaking to Global News from his hospital bed in Orlando, Florida. “I thought there would be at least one bed there (at a New Brunswick hospital).”

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He estimates he will need weeks of rehab, which is done primarily through the province’s Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Center in Fredericton.

The hospital-based facility has 20 beds and services for cardiac, neurosurgery and rehabilitation patients.

“The story is that there are no beds in New Brunswick. In fact, they told me it’s bad across the country,” said Patricia, Guthro’s wife.

“It is a desperate situation. My husband is so bedridden that he hasn’t been able to shave or anything.”

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She said the experience has been “emotional” for both of them. She watched her husband take his first steps again earlier this week.

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“I just want to get home and get into a bed so I can get some rehab,” Guthro said.

“The Canadian government seems to give a damn about citizens outside the country who need help.”

Global News reached out to Horizon Health Network, but the regional health authority did not respond before publishing.

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