Odette Rosselli has been waiting nearly two weeks for her husband to undergo an "urgent" MRI and during that time she has seen his health deteriorate.
"It has progressed to the point where he can't move any of his arms or legs. He can barely talk. He can barely swallow," Rosselli said.
She took her husband, Sam, into Peace Arch Hospital on Good Friday, after the couple figured the 42-year-old had suffered a stroke.
But CT scans revealed that wasn't the case, and doctors prescribed him an "urgent" MRI so a diagnosis could be made.
"We asked: What does urgent mean? Well, within a day or two. And now it is Wednesday. He is getting worse and worse," she said.
Vancouver Coastal Health, which oversees medical imaging in the Lower Mainland, said the length of time the family has waited is "not acceptable."
Part of the delay, it said, has to do with the Easter long weekend and the fact Rosselli needs to be transferred to another hospital for the MRI because of his specific needs.
"We apologize to this patient and his family for adding to their anxiety at a time when he is facing serious health issues," said the health authority in an email.
Rosselli said she understands hospitals are busy — and it is why she chose to take him to Peace Arch Hospital instead of Surrey Memorial Hospital, thinking there would be less of a wait. She now worries they're running out of time. There is still no diagnosis of his condition, which is progressively getting worse.
"We're afraid he is going to die," she said, "He is a young person with a child and a family that needs him."
He is currently hooked up to an IV for fluids and there are fears he will get pneumonia.
"Who knows if this amount of time waiting has already created a deficit that he is never able to get better from," she said.
"I don't want him to die, I just want help for him," she said.
The family has been told an MRI will be conducted on Friday after a cancellation came up.
The health authority said it is trying to get an earlier date.
Vancouver Coastal Health said it will be reviewing the case with the hospital and staff, since a "number of unnecessary process delays were identified."