Mother says disabled sons are being forced out of training center

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

AMHERST COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Virginia's training centers for the disabled would lose $2.5 million under budget amendments proposed by Governor Terry McAuliffe. One local mother believes money is the reason her severely disabled children are being forced out of Amherst County's Central Virginia Training Center three years before the facility is scheduled to close.

It's been a long road for Martha Bryant and her sons Taylor and Tyler.  When she became unable to provide the care they needed in her Amherst County home, the boys moved to the Central Virginia Training Center's skilled care unit when they were 2 years old.

They're now 22 years old and that proverbial long road is about to turn into an actual one for the Bryant family.

"I don't think I could do weeknight visits and have that turnaround because to visit and turnaround would be over 6 hours," said Martha Bryant.

The training center's skilled care beds will be decertified by the end of the year. A community integration manager notified Martha that Taylor and Tyler will be moved to a Petersburg facility as early as January 3. Their mother says they're planning the transfer without her consent and she worries they won't tell her when it's happening.

"That would be my worst nightmare that somebody calls and says they're on their way," said Bryant.

In an email, that manager told Bryant she'll speak with Centra after the holidays to see if the Lynchburg-based medical system can work with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to find a suitable home for the twins, that will keep them near their family.

"They know us and they recognize us and they're used to that contact," said Bryant.

Their mother's concern goes beyond separation anxiety.  She believes they won't be able to handle the two and a half hour ambulance ride to Petersburg and doesn't believe they'll get the same care there they do in Madison Heights.

"I'm very concerned this will harm them or kill them," said Bryant.