James Jepson said landing in the Langley Memorial Hospital pysch ward with severe depression was a ‘blessing’ because it led to the discovery of blocked arteries in his heart. But the surgery to correct the problem could cost him his home. (James Jepson/special to Langley Advance Times)

Heart patient facing loss of home says depression may have saved his life

‘I’m hoping for a Christmas miracle’ sister of Langley City man says

James Jepson said the good part about ending up in the Langley Memorial Hospital psychiatric ward with severe depression was the discovery by doctors of blocked arteries in his heart that required surgery.

“It was a semi-blessing,” Jepson told the Langley Advance Times.

But the surgery to correct his heart problem could cost the Langley City resident his home.

Jepson has been at LMH for three weeks, waiting for his operation and unable to work, ineligible for E.I. because he hasn’t been working full-time, and he was turned down when he tried to get back on disability.

Jepson said he was given basic social assistance of $795, which is not enough to cover his $1275 rent.

Jepson’s sister, Donna Patterson, a single mom on disability, said family and friends chipped in to help pay the rent on her brother’s apartment for December, but they won’t be able to do it again.

“We’re done,” Patterson told the Langley Advance Times.

“We don’t have any money left.”

Patterson has set up a gofundme page with the title “man needs open heart surgery but will have no home” in the hopes of raising enough money to cover her brother’s expenses until he has recovered from his surgery, something that is expected to take six months.

“I’m looking for a Christmas miracle,” Patterson said.

Otherwise, she said, her brother may not have a home to go to when he gets out hospital.

READ ALSO: GoFundMe drive set up for young Langley hit-and-run victim

READ ALSO: B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Jepson, 49, is a brain injury survivor who suffered a violent assault 25 years ago that left him with memory issues and PTSD and qualified him for financial disability assistance.

“They [doctors] straight-out told me I would never work again,” Jepson recalled.

“I said, that’s not going to happen.”

He was able to train for work as a security guard and get off disability, he related.

When he lost his job, Jepson said he was still able to find occasional warehouse work, enough to “barely” cover living expenses, but when a long-term relationship recently ended, he became depressed.

When Jepson told his family he was thinking suicidal thoughts, they arranged to have him transported to the psychiatric ward at LMH.

It was there, he said, that doctors discovered he had high blood pressure, which led to a diagnosis of blocked arteries that would require open heart surgery.

Once the operation is done, Jepson has been told he won’t be able to work, because he isn’t allowed to do any heavy lifting.

When he tried to reinstate his disability benefits, Jepson said he was told he was considered “borderline” under new rules and not eligible.

He’s re-applied, hoping he can get coverage.

“It’s just been a rough year,” Jepson observed.

“Just brutal.”

His surgery was tentatively scheduled for this week.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 1 closed after body found on highway north of Yale

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, next Drive BC update at noon

Nurses acknowledged with new scholarship at UFV

Jackie and Dick Newton’s daughter donates to honour nurses who cared for her parents

Playgrounds across Chilliwack set to reopen Friday, June 5

Ensuring proper social distancing and sanitized hands will require extra vigilance

BREAKING: RCMP Emergency Response Team at known drug house in Chilliwack

Armed officers have house surrounded Wednesday before 9 a.m.

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Teen cashier praised after paying grocery bill for Aldergrove woman

Otter Co-op’s Brooklyn Roberts asked to pay Tamara Smith’s $44 grocery bill after debit card declined

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

After delay, ‘Metro Vancouver’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park’ set to open in Surrey

At Central City Fun Park, ‘things will be a little different than what we had originally planned’

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

Most Read