Hamilton MPP wants province to pay for shooting victim’s therapy and care as his savings run dry
Call made by MPP for province to better aid Travis Bailey
The provincial government should be doing more to help a 33-year-old shooting victim who has exhausted his meagre savings paying for physiotherapy and personal support care, says a local MPP.
Travis Bailey was shot in the head more than a decade ago when the gunman mistook him for someone else and he has received care through the CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) as well as private providers over the years.
But Hamilton Mountain MPP Monique Taylor says the CCAC has scaled back the number of hours Bailey was eligible for and last spring pulled his coverage altogether because it has “never been able to meet his complex needs.”
That meant in August last year Bailey had to start paying $1,000 per month for private care providers, using funds left from a $25,000 payout he received from the Crimi- nal Injuries Compensation Board in 2008.
Now he has less than $500 in savings, his mother Cindy says. And the family will have to decide whether to use his limited income to pay for medication or personal support. There isn’t enough for both.
“The Ministry of Health should make sure that people with brain injuries have the proper supports in place for people like Travis and that is not happening,” the NDP member said.
In response to questions from Taylor in the provincial legislature this week, Minister of Health Dr. Eric Hoskins said: “I would want to do whatever we could under this and other circumstances but we need to follow a process, a process that is uniform for all Ontarians across this province. I am ... more than willing to have a conversation with the member opposite and to see if in this specific case there might be something else that can be done.”
Taylor said Friday afternoon that conversation had not yet taken place. “We’re looking for full reimbursement of all money he has paid and services being provided going forward.”
Mary Siegner, a spokesperson for the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Community Care Access Centre, said: “The CCAC may not always be the lead agency for a patient’s care and we certainly respect the expertise of our partner agencies in the community.”
Bailey has partial paralysis on his left side, is blind in the right eye and struggles with post-traumatic stress, depth perception and short-term memory problems, among other things.
“I’m missing a piece of my brain almost the size of a golf ball because I was shot by a 12-gauge shotgun through the back of the head and out of my face.”
He says life is “just non-stop torture,” arguing his assailant receives better care being incarcerated.
“At least he could cope in jail. He has both his hands and both his feet and both his eyes. I’m half blind because of him.”
In 2009, Thomas Riordan was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison in connection with the May 7, 2006 shooting. He also received 14 years for shooting Michael Walsh, 22, in a Waterdown rooming house, over a drug deal gone bad.
At 22, Travis Bailey was shot in the head in a brutal case of mistaken identity in 2006.