01/24/2015 03:53 EST | Updated 03/26/2015 05:59 EDT

MUHC superhospital shuffle begins with Montreal Chest Institute

The McGill superhospital shuffling has begun with the moving of 18 patients from the Montreal Chest Institute to the Lachine Hospital.

With a closure date slated for June, the Montreal Chest Institute’s patients are being moved to a new clinic. But some say patients are being moved there against their wishes.

Luciana D’Amore’s husband Gianni Casale is one of the 18 patients being moved this weekend.

Like the other patients being moved to Lachine, he has a severe degenerative illness and can’t breathe on his own.

Casale has locked-in syndrome, meaning he is completely paralyzed but conscious. He can only communicate by blinking.

D’Amore said she doesn’t understand why vulnerable patients with respiratory problems are being moved in the middle of winter.

On top of that, she said the Lachine clinic is much farther for her to travel to than the Chest Institute, which is near the Royal Victoria Hospital in downtown Montreal.

"You don’t have a say in it. They just put you in an ambulance and bring you wherever they want, and you have nothing to say," D’Amore said.

She said her husband has been crying since learning he would be moving to Lachine, because he doesn’t want to be even further away from her.

Jocelyne Faille, the director of the Lachine Hospital, is sympathetic.

"I understand their concerns, and we’re listening to them, but there’s no alternative for them," Faille said.

She said there are simply no other beds available in the city to accommodate the patients of the Montreal Chest Institute.