A woman battling lung cancer was told to leave a bingo hall for not covering up a hole in her neck that helps her breathe.
Elaine Arbeau, 67, was excited to meet her friends at Delta Bingo in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, when it reopened following coronavirus restrictions.
But her son says she was asked to leave by management – leaving her embarrassed and upset.
Joe Gilbert said his mum cried in the car park after leaving and was “beside herself”.
He told CTV News : “She was told to leave by management if she didn’t cover up the hole on her neck.
“She explained that was impossible to do. That’s how she breathes.”
Joe claims that after the manager saw his mum crying, he told her she could go back in, but at that point she left voluntarily.
Elaine’s son wrote in a Facebook post: “My mom has battled many types of cancers over the last 20 years. She is still here. Hell of a survivor.
“However she like any soldier carries many wounds. One being the hole left in her neck. So because of that battle she can’t talk like us, or breathe like us. She breathes through the hole in her neck.
“My mom doesn’t go out much unless its to play at a casino or bingo hall these days for her enjoyment with her friends.”
He told the story of what happened, adding: “This should never happen to anyone in my moms position.”
Joe said he is trying to give his mum a voice by sharing the story.
Speaking to CTV News Toronto, Delta Bingo CEO Cam Johnston said he will take a “hard look” over the case however he said people should not be visiting their establishment without a mask.
He said he would make a judgement on the case shortly, but said they preferred for people who were unable to wear masks to not attend.
Mr Johnston reportedly said he empathises with Elaine but argued his priority at this time has to be safety.
“We’re trying to protect everyone but my first concern and first obligation is the health and safety of all our customers and staff.”