By Ernesto Carranza
Nov. 13, 2015
Charles McMullin hadn’t slept all night and he had to work in a couple of hours.
He got up and went to his wife, Sue, who was helping Sam, her 83-year-old father, get off the floor and back on his bed after his most recent attempt to leave.
Sam suffers from Lewy Body Dementia, a progressive dementia that can cause severe seizures and vivid hallucinations.
Sue hadn’t slept in four nights, and Charles watched her comfort her father with tears streaming down his face.
Now, Sam Bariamis is under geriatric care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital but it was a hard road for Charles and Sue to get him in the hospital.
“I’ve watched my wife watch her father die,” said Charles.
“Sue’s been wonderful about everything and was a celebrity with the nurses at the QEH because she took such good care of her father and had no formal training in geriatric care.”
Sam suffered a heart attack earlier this year, the beginning of the drastic collapse of his mental and physical health.
For Sue and her husband, it was all they could do just to keep up with his medical bills.
“Sam’s pension goes towards his medical bills and we try to give whatever we can but it has been extremely difficult because Sue has had to stop working to care for him and I am the only source of income,” Charles said.
“We’ve had so much help from Islanders though and we’ve always said that the Island is a beautiful place with beautiful people.”
They received money, and some equipment to help lift Sam when needed and the Parkinson’s Society has helped pay some of the hospital bills, he said.
Still, the McMullins are barely able to keep up.
Every insurance company Charles calls and explains his father-in-laws situation to refuses to cover Sam because of his pre-existing conditions.
But through it all the McMullins stayed positive.
“It’s been tough, but love keeps us going and our children have been great in helping us out and staying positive and we can’t really ask for more,” Charles said.
Recently, the McMullins got help from the PEI Photo Lab, which donated itstime and resources to help Sam get new passport photos for free.
The photos will help Sam acquire a specific type of passport called the humanitarian and compassionate considerations visa.
Which exempts him from normal visa requirements because of extreme circumstances.
“We hadn’t even heard of it until our dear friend Natasha McCarthy contacted a lawyer in Vancouver who help identify this that would help us out,” said Charles.
“The PEI Photo Lab volunteering all these resources to us just reinforces what we already know about Islanders, and that’s they are very kind and very generous people.