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

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

Preliminary results indicate a Surrey-Cloverdale win for the NDP’s Mike Starchuk. (File)
Mike Starchuk leading Marvin Hunt in Surrey Cloverdale

MAP: B.C. provincial election results for Surrey-Cloverdale

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Most Read