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

Surrey seniors call Seniors’ Centre Without Walls, a new-to-B.C. program

‘Crazy coincidence’ saw program connect soon after COVID-19 pandemic hit

White Rock reopens more waterfront parking

East Beach availability boosted for residents, public

Police on scene at a Surrey duplex after ‘suspicious’ death of woman

IHIT says the woman was transported to hospital, where she died, from the home

Liquor permission considered for White Rock’s Memorial Park

Council mulls business-boosting measures, including picnic benches

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Langley woman recalls last words spoken to mother who died of COVID-19 on 88th birthday

Verna Clarke was more than a senior with dementia who died of COVID at Langley Lodge, she was ‘loved’

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

COVID claims 23rd Langley Lodge patient, making it the deadliest outbreak in B.C.

Coronavirus kills another senior at Langley care home, bringing B.C. total to 166

Most Read