Cancer patient kicked out of bingo hall for not covering breathing hole in neck
A cancer patient was left in tears after being denied entry to a bingo hall twice for not covering her breathing hole in the neck with a face mask.
Elaine Arbeau, from Whitby, Ontario in Canada, has suffered from various types of cancer in the last 20 years, including one that left her a hole in the neck for breathing.
Having been isolating at home for six months, the 67-year-old planned to spend her afternoon at Delta Bingo but was rejected by the staff at the doors, son BJ Gilbert wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
He explained: "Like most people, she too was excited to go play and see her friends again.
"However when she went to Delta Bingo Pickering, she was told to leave by management if she didn't cover up the hole on her neck.
"Well, she explained that was impossible to do so. That's how she breathes."
BJ said his mum was escorted out by operations manager Lucy, and burst into tears after leaving the premises.
But Elaine left feeling humiliated and contacted Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, who told her that she should be allowed to enter, regardless of the breathing hole.
She revisited Delta Bingo on August 28 but was denied entry again.
Mobile phone footage taken by Elaine shows the worker asking her to call the head office for enquiries.
The member of staff hands a piece of paper with the information on it and tells her: "This is private property and they can mandate any rules that they want."
He refuses to answer further questions and asks Elaine to stop filming and leave the building.
BJ said: "Even though she tries to explain what she learned she was over talked.
"My poor mum has no voice so I'm hoping by getting this out there many people will join me to give her one.
"This should never happen to anyone in my mum's position."
Cam Johnston, the CEO of Delta Bingo, told CTV News Toronto that he empathised with Elaine and would investigate the incident, but stressed that safety has to be his "number one priority at this time".
He said: "I will make a judgement shortly. But we would prefer that people who are unable to wear masks do not attend. I think it's best for them.
"We're trying to protect everyone but my first concern and first obligation is the health and safety of all our customers and staff."
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