The Curse of George Pearson Centre - #2: A Husk of Herself

Updated: Aug 14, 2021


Andrea Wildman before (left) and after (right) entering George Pearson Centre


By Spencer van Vloten

BC Disability

July 2nd, 2021


In part 2 of our series on Vancouver's notorious George Pearson Centre, we'll tell the story of Andrea Wildman, who entered Pearson happy and optimistic, only to become a shell of herself in a place where compassion isn't a priority.


See More

The Curse of George Pearson Centre - #1: A Place for Captives and Incurables

The Curse of George Pearson Centre - #3: Scared, Bleeding, and Alone

The Curse of George Pearson Centre - #4: An Unbreakable Bond

The Cruel Compassion of George Pearson Centre


A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE


Andrea Wildman’s life changed forever on November 19th, 2019.


It was just a fall down the stairs in her Fort St. John home, not something that would usually bother the 52-year-old motorcycle aficionado and crane operator, but this time the effect was devastating: Andrea's spinal cord was severed, leaving her paralyzed.


Lucky to be alive, she was flown to Vancouver General Hospital, where she would spend the next 10 months in a spinal cord unit.


Despite the severity of her injury, Andrea, now requiring a ventilator to breath, remained in high spirits.


She had long, upbeat talks and texting sessions with friends and family, her hair was styled by the VGH staff during 'spa days', and she enjoyed being taken outside for strolls in her wheelchair.

Andrea enjoying the outdoors (L) and with family at VGH shortly after her fall (R), with daughter Sarah on the right


Then the words George Pearson Centre came up for the first time.


Around 10 months after she first arrived at VGH, the time had come for Andrea to find somewhere to live permanently.


Her family were eager to have her close to home, back with them in Fort St. John, but were told that none of the care facilities in the area accepted ventilator dependent residents.


Vancouver's George Pearson Centre did, however. And, the family was informed, it would be a great place for her to live.


"I'M REALLY SCARED"


Andrea entered Georg