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

Borrow $8 billion for Fraser Valley rail link, Abbotsford mayor urges province

Henry Braun urges province to borrow billions to connect Abbotsford & Chilliwack to Metro Vancouver

Ralston to take over as Energy Minister in B.C. cabinet shuffle

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Elderly pedestrian killed in Vancouver crash with Surrey delivery van

Elderly woman was in marked crosswalk with husband when she was hit

Anti-pipeline protests in support of Wet’suwet’en continue at B.C. government buildings

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Pooches Jasper and Jake bring comfort to Abbotsford Police Department

Comfort dogs there for cuddles and play time when needed

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

Most Read