OHIP won't cover surgery for man recovering from crossbow accident, his mom says
Published Tuesday, October 8, 2019 6:15PM EDT
KITCHENER - A Waterloo Region man who was shot in the neck in a crossbow accident in April is alive, but an expensive surgery stands between him and recovery.
Sebastian Kolosowski 's mother says he's a hobbyist who was trying to fix a crossbow that had a faulty safety on it.
"He tried to arm it and it slipped and hit him on the left side of the neck," Mary Kolosowski explains.
Sebastian was lucky that it didn't hit his spine or carotid artery. Still, his mother says he lost a lot of blood and suffered brain swelling.
She says that doctors told her there was a 95 per cent chance that he would be brain dead and have no chance of survival.
"I wasn't ready to give him up, so I refused pulling the plug," she says with tears.
Months later, she says her son has full memory, is able to mouth words and is ready to live a normal life. She says that now, six months later, he's beginning to get depressed.
But Sebastian is hooked up to a respirator that helps him breathe. Kolosowski says he needs an expensive surgery to insert a diaphragmatic pacemaker to help him breathe without the respirator.
"This would help him get out of the hospital," she says.
She says the device costs around $40,000, but the operation could cost another $100,000 on top of that.
While the Ministry of Health won't comment on this specific case, Mary Kolosowski says that OHIP won't cover the surgery.
In a statement to CTV, the ministry says it could be covered but not in every case.
"OHIP provides payments for prescribed hospital services, medically necessary physician services and prescribed therapeutically necessary services," a ministry statement reads in part.
The family began an online fundraising campaign to try to make up the costs.
Due to hospital privacy rules, it can't be confirmed whether Sebastian would be a candidate for the diaphragm pacer surgery at all.