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B.C. family seeks answers after disoriented, semi-nude patient wanders away from hospital

Click to play video: 'Squamish General Hospital loses patient' Squamish General Hospital loses patient
The family of a Mount Currie man are demanding answers after he wandered away from hospital early Saturday morning, disoriented and naked. John Hua reports.

A Mount Currie mother is demanding answers after her adult son went missing from hospital in the middle of the night.

Eagle Leo was found lying on the ground semi-nude after being reported missing for nearly eight hours.

“They had search-and-rescue out, they had dogs out, they had called the police,” Leo’s mother Maureen Andy said.

Click to play video: 'Patient with brain injury walks away from RCH' Patient with brain injury walks away from RCH
Patient with brain injury walks away from RCH – Jun 4, 2020

“How could a hospital lose a man who is almost six foot tall in the middle of the night only with a towel on?”

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Eagle Leo was first admitted to Lions Gate Hospital on June 1 after passing out while working in the sun.

He was treated for dangerously low hemoglobin levels, then transferred to Squamish General Hospital where he was supposed to be picked up by family on Saturday.

Instead, his mother got a visit from police.

“I kept saying, ‘It doesn’t sound right. I said, ‘What did he take with him?’ And he said he didn’t take anything with him,” Andy said.

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Family want answers after missing B.C. man with brain injury found dead – May 29, 2020

Leo has since told his mother he was given medication that left him disoriented. After showering, he tried to find his clothes and somehow wandered out of the hospital in the middle of the night.

It was first reported at 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

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Read more: Police search for head-trauma patient who walked out of B.C. hospital in gown, slippers

“It was seven degrees that night that he was out there in his towel,” Andy said.

In a statement, Vancouver Coastal Health writes:

“We understand any patient’s family would be worried in this situation and we apologize for any distress this situation may have caused.

“In the rare instance in which an event like this occurs, we conduct a thorough investigation and take remedial steps, as appropriate.”

Read more: Another brain-injured man says he walked out of B.C. hospital weeks before Gavin Deloes’ death

“I’m First Nations, I’ve heard many stories. It has become normalized to expect a lesser standard of care,” Andy said.

Leo said he remembers falling twice, injuring both his back and head. He also suffered bruises to his arms and cuts on his feet.

“He goes, ‘Oh well,'” Andy said. “I said, ‘No, Eagle. You’re important. It’s not OK that this happened to you.'”

Andy said a nurse did offer an apology but she says more needs to be done to restore faith in a health-care system that she says is hard to trust right now.

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“Treat our people better,” she said tearfully.

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