Woman's hospital encounter in Vernon goes viral, viewed more than 215,000 times

VJH encounter goes viral

A woman whose encounter at Vernon Jubilee Hospital has gone viral on social media says she wants only to shine a light on mental health issues, not "drop hate" on hospital staff.

Savanna Hedstrom recently posted two videos to TikTok filmed by her fiance in the Emergency Ward at VJH.

The initial video has been viewed more than 215,000 times and has generated thousands of comments.

Hedstrom says she went to the hospital suffering a mental health crisis.

Two nights earlier, she admitted herself as she was experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Hedstrom admits she suffers from anxiety, manic and panic attacks, and epilepsy.

In the video, she can be heard sobbing and apologizing, and asks why she can't see a doctor. Her foot can be seen shaking uncontrollably.

Her fiance has her therapy dog there with them.

"This nurse kicked me out when I tried to seek help to 'sewerslide'. I need people to see how I was treated," Hedstrom wrote on the video.

A second video continues with Hedstrom being asked to leave. It's unclear what happened before or between the videos.

The nurse says Hedstrom has "a responsibility to listen" as she asks for her medications back.

"Can I finish? ... OK, you are welcome to leave," the nurse says.

She asks if Hedstrom would like her to explain the process and says she had consulted with her doctor and suggested making an appointment.

"If you feel you need to come back, you can come back," the nurse says.

Two more follow-up videos recorded when Hedstrom was in a better frame of mind have also been viewed more than 10,000 times. She stresses in the videos that she doesn't want viewers to attack the nurse, but many comments are strongly negative.

"I never met the doctor, and the nurse said I was interrupting, but I was in the middle of a crisis," says Hedstrom.

She says she only wants to put a focus on mental health and treatment of people in crisis, and "not drop hate on the nurse."

Hedstrom says she is doing better now, but is moving to Prince George as she is "terrified to go back."

"I don't want to be afraid to go to the ER in my own town," she added.

Hedstrom says mental health is not taken seriously, and she felt treated like "a drug addict" ... "I felt like nothing when I left," she recalled.

In a statement to Castanet, IH said: "It is important to stress that a two-minute TikTok video cannot possibly provide full context to an emergency department visit and interactions between patients, staff and physicians. This is especially true of situations that may relate to complex situations.

"We would urge people viewing this video to keep that in mind before judging anyone involved or mentioned.

"Interior Health would be happy to discuss the concerns this individual has with her directly through our site leadership or our patient care quality office.

"We would also note that there are rules prohibiting images or recordings in health care settings without consent as it violates privacy laws and potentially puts people at risk."

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