Australian man visiting family in Wood Islands dies

Steve Sharratt comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 9, 2015

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

©Submitted photo

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.

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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 www.islandowned.ca.