Ottawa: Sharbot Lake Parents blame hospital for son’s suicide

Mikeal Teal’s distraught family is demanding to know why their teenage son was sent home from the hospital after two previous suicide attempts. They feel that he didn’t receive the proper attention or care and question why the health-care system didn’t do more.

His mother, Leslee, and step-father, Allan Whan, first noticed Mikeal’s mood drastically change a year ago. As he grew more distant his parents soon realized he was depressed.

"He'd go off by himself a lot more. He'd go down to the beach and swing on the swing for hours and then he started getting voices in his head," Leslee says, breaking down into tears.

They tried to get help for their son but were disappointed in what they described as inadequate care. Mikeal was treated by a psychiatrist at the Kingston General Hospital and prescribed anti-depressants. He also had weekly consultations via Skype, but his family claims they only last about 10 minutes.

"Not impressed," said Mikeal's mother. "They just pushed pills, see you later and close his file. They told me it was hormones."

"I don't know how they can make an honest diagnosis in 10 minutes," added Alan.

Mikeal first attempted suicide last January and was referred to Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. After being assessed for 5 days, he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety then sent home with different medication.

Mikeal was rushed to the hospital three months later after his second suicide attempt.

The next day, his parents were called to pick him up.

"They put him in a room with a barf bag and a suicide pamphlet," Leslee said. "He couldn't walk properly or speak properly."

"They said, keep an eye on him," said Allan. "I don't know how much more we could have done. It wasn't like we could chain him to his bed.”

On May 14, he sliced open his arms and walked into a wooded area where he was found a revived by paramedics.

 After it was revealed that Mikeal was brain dead, he was taken off life support. He died on May 19.


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