Raymond Ningeocheak has made it home to Coral Harbour.

“We feel very excited, happy and relieved at the same time,” said Sarah Netser, his daughter. “(Raymond) is very happy.”

Ningeocheak had spent a year in Ottawa at Embassy West under medical care and being treated for dementia. His family desperately wanted him home, but the Government of Nunavut would not fly him back to Coral Harbour without medical clearance.

Minister of Health John Main previously stated in an email to Kivalliq News that he was unable to comment on individual cases, but “repatriation against medical advice comes with increased risk to a client’s health and well-being.”

Netser and her family were forced to raise upward of $37,000 to charter a medevac plane and get the medical equipment needed to allow him to go back home to Coral Harbour. The family also had to sign a waiver with the GN, understanding that they would be responsible for his medical care. All the family needs now is a medical lift.

Ningeocheak returned home Feb. 21 and had maktaq, tuktu and fish as soon as he got in, said Netser. His family will be holding a gathering for his 81st birthday on March 11. Netser said he will be staying home until he passes away.

“I’m just so thankful and grateful and relieved,” said Netser about everyone who donated.

Individual donations totalled $27,000, with another $10,000 coming from the Wabano Centre and other businesses.

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