Care worker apologizes for abandoning B.C. woman with cerebral palsy
VANCOUVER -- A care worker who abandoned a Surrey, B.C., woman with cerebral palsy, leaving her alone for hours, is expressing remorse.
“I feel completely awful. I can’t even express how I am feeling. I feel so low. I just feel horrible,” the woman said in a phone interview with CTV News Vancouver Thursday.
“I totally understand what I did to Jenny was completely wrong.”
On Wednesday, 56-year-old Jenny Taylor told CTV News the story of how she was left alone for hours.
Taylor uses a wheelchair and requires round-the-clock care to help her with everything from dressing and feeding to washing and brushing her teeth.
"She can move her arms, but from the chest down she has no movement,” explained Julia Alanya, one of Taylor’s long-time caregivers who still works with Taylor and said she's deeply upset by what the other care worker did.
Taylor says a new care assistant - who was working her first shift alone - put Taylor in a sling so she could use the washroom.
The worker then told Taylor she couldn’t do the job anymore and that she was getting another worker to come so she could leave, Taylor says.
But the other worker was not called. Taylor was left alone, sitting on the toilet in a sling as the minutes slowly turned into hours.
“I felt very sad and upset,” she said.
Taylor says she realized it would be about 12 hours before her next caregiver would arrive. She knew she couldn’t wait that long for help.
Then she remembered there just might be a way to summon some assistance.
Inside a bathroom cupboard was a Google smart speaker. She couldn’t reach it, but she could call out to it.
“She was able to talk to Google and call her sister,” explained Alanya, who says the sister then called her.
Alanya says Jenny was still sitting on the toilet when she arrived.
“She was still attached to the lift but she was sliding off the toilet,” explained Alanya.
The worker who abandoned Taylor says she suddenly became very ill and couldn’t work.
‘I was feeling so dizzy, a couple times I thought I would pass out…It’s no excuse,” the worker said.
She says she texted one of Taylor’s other workers to come to the home, but later realized the text did not go through.
“I am so ashamed. I don’t even know what to say. Nothing I can say is going to make it better. I am going to feel horrible for the rest of my life,” the worker said.
She says she will not continue as a care worker, though it’s a job she’s been doing since 1998. She says she’s never done anything like this before.
“I’m very shameful for what I’ve done.”
Alanya says she and Taylor have tried to contact the worker, but have not had any success. She says at one point, they did receive a text from the woman, who said she was in hospital.
The worker told CTV News she had not been in the hospital, but explained that she had thought she would end up there.
Meanwhile, Taylor is warning others to be cautious when hiring caregivers and ensure references check out.
Alanya says they wanted to follow up on the references from the worker who suddenly left, but she had asked them to wait.
"Because it was the weekend, she asked me to please contact them on Monday because she wasn’t able to reach them to say someone would call for references,” Alanya explained.
Taylor says what happened has taught her the importance of a back-up plan in case things go sideways.
And she’s grateful for the piece of technology that allowed her to call for help.