Daughter of man who died during Bonavista ER closure protests at Confederation Building IG News

IG news Update,

Three people holding a picture of a smiling man and a large sign saying text "save lives!  Rip Charles Marsh.  No closing er doors ever!"
Shelley Gosselin, center, daughter of Charles Marsh, protests the closure of the Bonavista Emergency Room outside the Confederation Building on Thursday. Gail Brown, left, and Elijah Swires join him. (Darrell Roberts/CBC)

On Thursday, one person was killed during a protest held at the Confederation Building in St. Johns over the closure of the Bonavista emergency room.

The Bonavista emergency room was closed for just 18 days in February — including February 20, when Shelley Gosselin’s father, 78-year-old Charles Marsh, died.

“The doors to the ER should never be closed,” Gosselin said Thursday.

On 19 February, Marsh had an asthma attack and his medication was not working. Gosselin said her father went to the emergency room in Bonavista for oxygen but it was not open.

Gosselin said her father’s condition worsened overnight and they decided to call an ambulance the next morning. When the Bonavista emergency room is closed, anyone experiencing a medical emergency has to go to a hospital in Clarenville – more than 100 kilometers away.

“He passed away in the ambulance on the way to Clarenville,” she said.

Two people put their arms around each other.
Gosselin, right, says she believes her father, Charles Marsh, would still be alive if the Bonavista emergency room was open while he had a medical emergency. (Submitted by Shelley Gosselin)

Gosselin, who lives in Ottawa, returned to Bonavista after her father’s death. She’s been speaking out about the service shutdown, including at a town hall meeting last week. Eliza Swires and Gail Brown, two of the organizers of the meeting, joined Gosselin at the Confederation Building on Thursday.

Gosselin said, “I don’t want my father to die in vain, that something good will come out of his death.”

The trio put up a sign featuring a picture of Charles Marsh with the message “No Locked ER Doors Ever!”

“We’re not giving up until the doors are open 24/7, 356 days a year,” Gosselin said.

According to Eastern Health, the Bonavista emergency department will have enough staff to open for 19 days this month. The Bonavista emergency room was open Thursday but was scheduled to close again Friday morning and remain closed through the weekend.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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