Scott Nesbitt requires a plastic, bendy straw to drink. (Carmell Nesbitt photo)

Victoria mother concerned by city’s potential straw ban

Carmell Nesbitt’s son has cerebral palsy and can only drink with plastic straws

When Carmell Nesbitt first heard the City of Victoria is considering banning disposable straws, she immediately bought more from the store.

Nesbitt’s 37-year-old son Scott has cerebral palsy and a swallowing condition, so he can’t drink without plastic, bendable straws. His dysplasia can also make him aspirate fluid into his lungs. Without access to straws, Scott could become dehydrated.

“It’s kind of like when you have freezing done for dental work and you try to swallow but it drools all down your face. It’s like that all the time for him,” Nesbitt said. “Even with the straws, he still needs other people to hold his cup.”

READ MORE: City of Victoria considers disposable straw ban

They’ve tried everything.

“Because he doesn’t have the motor control, when he drinks out of a paper straw it squeezes too tight and it collapses, then the straw doesn’t work anymore. If he uses a hard straw, he can’t get a good suction on it and can’t get the fluid up,” she said.

At the suggestion of a friend, she bought reusable silicone straws, but Scott found they were still too thick to get proper suction. Other reusable straws, such as those made of metal, are too hard. The ones that don’t bend can’t stay in his mouth at all.

“It’s just disastrous,” Nesbitt said.

READ MORE: BC Ferries to switch to paper straws

Scott lives in a group home, and goes out often to restaurants, especially to Tim Hortons for hot chocolate. He works twice a week, where he’ll eat lunch while at his job. He goes through six to eight straws a day, one with every meal and then every time he drinks between that.

“We always try to make sure we have straws with us and he brings them with him, but sometimes the supply runs out. He gets frustrated because it’s too hard to drink. He says no because he knows it’s going to make a mess and it’s embarrassing,” she said, adding that it also impacts his independence.

“I understand the issue of why they want to ban the straws for the environment,” she said. “However, before they do something like that, they really need to come up with another option that’s going to work for people like my son. I know there are some options, but there are still not enough good options available.”

READ MORE: Some readers say no to proposed plastic straw ban in Victoria


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UVic student killed in bus crash remembered as passionate, kind

Emma Machado, 18, killed in bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

UPDATE: One man dies in Saanich collision

Police are asking people to avoid the intersection at Cumberland and Union roads

Oak Bay approves subdivision for lot that houses Maclure-designed heritage home

Mansion-style Blair Gowie house famous for its design and historical connection with Butchart family

MLA Andrew Weaver thins workload after illness, full recovery expected

BC Green Party leader felt symptoms at a public event in Langley, and was taken to hospital

Golfer aims for hole-in-one to raise cash for Victoria Hospice

Fundraiser event hits Highland Pacific Golf Course Sept. 17

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million Lotto 6/49 prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

Island campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Most Read