Australian man visiting family in Wood Islands dies

Steve Sharratt
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Sam Bariamis, who was visiting family in P.E.I. during a trip from Australia, died after suffering several health issues.

WOOD ISLANDS – It was such a great week.

It had been a long time since Sam Bariamis enjoyed a meal sitting at the table with his grandchildren or sat on the couch and watched a movie.

But after being prescribed with a new medication more than a week ago, the 82 year old was in great trim.

It was the first good news since he came to visit his daughter Sue and husband Charles McMullin almost two years ago and suffered a heart attack.

He was then diagnosed with a progressive deterioration disease and has been living in medical purgatory ever since with no international health care coverage and mounting bills.

His daughter even quit her job to care for him in the family home in Wood Islands.

RELATED: Grandfather visiting P.E.I. now trapped in poor health, red tape

But suffering from Lewy body disease is no picnic and Sam suffered from seizures and hallucinations and would wander.

“That’s why it was such a great week for them’’ offered friend Natasha McCarthy. “He was extremely lucid and everyone was hopeful that with the new medication he would get better.”

But Sam took a turn for the worse on the weekend and the family is devastated with his passing.

The family was attempting to acquire the assistance of Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay to obtain a compassionate visa for Sam so he could access the Canadian health care system.

Bills had mounted to $30,000 and neither his entire pension, family help, or donations could cover the costs.

“We had a lot of help and prayers from everyone,’’ said Charles McMullin before the wake Tuesday night. “And Sam was lucid enough at the end to understand this help and be so appreciative. Last week was like a last burst of energy before he passed.”

While Bariamis would never escape the Lewy body dementia, the family had hoped the man who was as strong as a horse and one time walked two to three hours a day would be able to enjoy his final days in relative comfort.

“Sue has been his angel taking care of him and they loved each other so much,’’ said McMullin. “He was so happy last week and we felt life in the home once again.”

McMullin said his father in law was rushed to the Q.E.H. and on Sunday told his daughter he loved her, made the sign of the cross, and passed away.

His funeral will be held at St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 26 Lower Malpeque Road on Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m.

Interment to follow in Ss. Peter & Paul Orthodox Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow Road. Online condolences may be made at

Organizations: Peter and Paul Orthodox Church

Geographic location: Wood Islands, 26 Lower Malpeque Road, Ss

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Recent comments

  • Harold Dalton
    December 09, 2015 - 21:38

    Sorry for y loss .to bad the help couldnt have come earlier.the morning i heard this on cbc.i called the hot line n said this person needs help..thank you.

  • Local Business Owner
    December 09, 2015 - 16:48

    This is a very sad story-however as a small business owner its getting increasingly hard to meet the demands of people looking for hand outs for benefits. There are times people need help and there are times where I shake my head at some of the requests. Theres a select few in Montague who seem to throw a benefit every week and it seems to me like they do it for the "hey look at me factor"....they post it all over social media what they are doing-well you know what people are tired of you.

    • Lorena Dunne
      December 09, 2015 - 23:27

      My family was one of the families that had a benefit held! I am not sure where we would be had it not been for the amazing, kind hearted people you speak of! My stepson was in an accident 2.5 years ago and without this benefit and another benefit, I am not sure how our family or his mothers family would have been able to be with him in Halifax. There are many worse things in the world than a kindhearted person helping others. These people you speak of do it for no other reason than to help! And without social media and the media these benefits would never be as successful as they are! Maybe you should take a look at your life and maybe give back a little more from your own business! It feels so good to be kind. It's what I teach my children every single day. Maybe if you reach out and help those in need you will be kinder, more gentle and more accepting of the good others do! Merry Christmas and I hope there is a lesson of kindness around the corner for you!!!!