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dated: 2022-11-25 08:05:50 .
An elderly Ontario man was forced to defend himself in a Toronto hospital emergency room Wednesday after being robbed by another patient.
Toronto resident Avi Levington told CTV News Toronto that he took his 68-year-old mother to Toronto General Hospital on Elizabeth Street around 9:30 a.m. because she was experiencing severe hip pain.
Levington said they waited about two hours when he retired to make a call at work.
“I say, ‘She’s not on the New York subway — I left her in the waiting room of a big hospital in Toronto,’” he said in a phone interview.
But in his absence, Levington said a stranger approached his mother, reached into a purse on her lap and stole her wallet.
“My mother was alone in the waiting room and a woman came and took my mother’s wallet from her purse, which was on her lap,” he said. “People around her were screaming and asking for help.”
Levington says that despite his mother’s complaints, she was able to follow and confront the perpetrators, who went to a corner and began emptying the contents of the wallet.
“In addition to being a transplant, my mother has very advanced scoliosis, so it is obviously extremely difficult for her to walk. She can walk, but with great difficulty, but she managed to get up and take the wallet back,” he said.
According to Levington, the staff did not react at the time, and instead patients jumped into action to help the woman back into the wheelchair.
He said that upon his return, a minute or two after the interaction, he noticed the absence of the security guard, which he found “extremely odd.”
“One would think there would be [a security guard] it wasn’t there – just someone sitting behind a glass wall where they can only hear if you speak through one of these microphone devices,” he said.
After about five minutes, Levington said, a security guard appeared and escorted a woman who was trying to take his mother’s wallet from the waiting room.
When asked for comment, the University Health Network, which oversees Toronto General Hospital, told CTV News Toronto that emergency rooms are “necessarily open to everyone … and are often seen as a place of recovery for people affected by homelessness.” “.
“This is a very unfortunate event and everyone involved in the incident will be part of the investigation,” UHN spokeswoman Gillian Howard said in a statement, adding that “emergency departments have security personnel assigned to the area.” .
“It would be very frightening for the patient involved and we are deeply sorry that anyone seeking care has had this experience.”
Levington’s mother has been recovering at home since Thursday.
He says he doesn’t want to share his story as “another person throwing stones at the system,” but he hopes it will spur significant change in health care.
“Let’s just find a way to manage these places more efficiently and safely. That’s all.”
An elderly Ontario man’s wallet was stolen in the emergency room
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