On June 24, 2017, President Trump signed a bill into law that makes it easier for the Veterans Administration to remove underperforming employees, in a plan to overhaul the Veterans Administration that’s struggling to assist millions of Disabled American Veterans.
As stated in an article by Darlene Superville and Jonathan Lemire (Associated Press) that was published in the Virginian Pilot Newspaper on June 24 2017, President Trump stated, “Our Veterans have fulfilled their duty to our nation and now we must fulfill our duty to them.” He continued to express, “To every veteran who is here with us today, I just want to say two very simple words; THANK YOU.”
The urgency of this law was prompted by a 2014 scandal at the Phoenix VA Medical Center, where many Disabled American Veterans actually died as they waited months for appropriate care. This hasn’t stopped, because, I have found in my Advocacy for the Disabled American Veterans (DAVS), horror stories that keep coming up. But, I sincerely know for sure that I plan to expose, with the DAVS’ approval, their individual stories for all to see just how horrible they have been and/or are being treated.
I have found horrendous trauma and negligence, that make me wonder how would anyone employed with the Veterans Administration allow any unfair treatments toward our nation’s Veterans by allowing any of them the hardships, lack of medical care, Medical Malpractice, failure to appropriately process their individual VA Claims, etc?
In this column, I would like to share the stories of the many Disabled American Veterans(DAVS) that I assist. This is the story of DAV Charles B. Whitaker who suffered severely, by the lack of medical care and negligence by the VA Medical Facilities.
—Dr. Vivian Anderson
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In His Own Words
DAV Charles B. Whitaker
I enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corp and then the U. S. Army and received an honorable discharge from both military services. I have experienced tremendous suffering which caused me to lose my right leg on November 10, 2010 while visiting the Hampton VA Medical Center in the process of preparations to receive a right knee replacement.
After receiving the replacement, in March 2011, the knee incisions split open with severe infection. The Hampton VA Hospital was unable to see me for three months. The VA Hospital set my appointment for June 15, 2011, to be seen by a doctor. What was I to do while waiting that long?
I did the best that I could do and when the appointment was available, the doctor prescribed me Vicodin and Percocet to assist with the severe pain from the severe infection that spread throughout my body.
“During this time my condition did not improve. It actually got worse, and the Hampton VA Hospital was unable to treat me; therefore, I was sent to Riverside Hospital where they cleaned out the infection in my right knee. The Riverside Hospital went into my right knee four different times within that week to clean the knee of infection that was severe and continuously spreading.
At Riverside, I was seen by a doctor who performed the cleaning of the infection in my right knee, and after spending time in Riverside Hospital, two months after this treatment, the right knee incision split open again. All the while waiting to hear from the Hampton VA Hospital, I was admitted to Sentara Leigh Hospital because I kept experiencing pain in my chest and right leg. I experienced a lot of pain and suffering until I was sent to McGuire VA Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.
As a result of this horrible medical treatment by the VA Hospital and lack of appropriate assistance from the Hampton VA Medical Center, my family and I experienced a severe financial hardship because I couldn’t work anymore, and lost my employment as a Transporter at Hertz Car Rental. I was getting sicker while waiting.
My wife and I were charged $900 so I could be transported from my home to the VA McGuire Hospital located in Richmond, Virginia, as previously mentioned above. There, they removed the first knee replacement and it was determined by the doctor that the infection had spread throughout my entire body. Once I left that hospital, I was sent home and had to treat myself daily for eight months with Vigamox Antibiotics.
At the end of the eight months, I was sent back to the VA McGuire Hospital, having to pay another $900 to be transported there. The hospital saw that all the infection had cleared up and I had the second replacement put in my right knee.
Once I was sent home, I experienced chest pains, Diabetes, Sexual Dysfunction, High Blood Pressure, becoming more prone to lose balance and falling, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), higher levels of PSA’s, Acid Reflux, blood disorder, increased severe bowl movements, Sleep Apnea, and memory loss. I went to the Hampton VA Hospital because I was feeling really sick, and they checked me out and rendered me pain medication.
As my right leg began to deteriorate, I went to Sentara Leigh Memorial Hospital where it was known that I had a hole in my right ankle that was deteriorating and giving off a stench. This hospital tried to save my right leg by placing a skin graft from above my right thigh; however, after further observation, I experienced severe pain and health issues to my right leg. A decision was made that it had to be amputated on December 27, 2013 at the Sentara Leigh Hospital, because the doctor determined there was nothing else that they could do. I experienced a CODE BLUE after the operation was over because of continuous bacteria developed in my body over a long period of time.
During the healing process at home, I was rendered a VA Healthcare Therapist to assist me. The therapy was to exercise my left leg rather than my right because that was already amputated as a result of the two defected knee replacements. No matter what I told the therapist, they continued to exercise the right amputated thigh.
I really feel that I have been rendered a terrible blow within my life after servicing my country and now I can’t work nor take care of my family as the man I once was. This is a terrible INJUSTICE and I do pray that by filing for Compensation and my VA Benefits, I will be rendered the appropriate assistance for myself and family for all that we have endured because of the treatment of the VA Hospitals, Medical Center and the VA McGuire Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, who did not see that I was taken care of appropriately.
Each and every day has been a tremendous burden for me and I feel that I should have been assigned a VA Case Worker or a VA Social Worker or any VA Representative who could have guided me appropriately while being placed in the position which was no fault of my own, without understanding my Human Rights and Privileges as a Disabled American Veteran.
Now that years have passed since the horrible experiences that I and my family had to endure, I wondered if I would ever gain the appropriate assistance from the VA? But having the chance to meet Dr. Vivian Anderson was an answer to my prayers and Dr. Anderson took the time to share with me all the information I needed in order to acquire the appropriate assistance that wasn’t willingly shared with me while suffering, as you can clearly see explained in details within this article.
I sincerely pray that no one else has to suffer as I and my family have since all this began. It really has been a tremendous horrific endeavor to nearly die trying to gain what should have been awarded because I am a Disabled American Veteran.
I have to thank our Heavenly FATHER, that there was an individual like Dr. Vivian Anderson, an Advocate for the Disabled American Veterans, who took the time to direct me to all the sources that are available for me and my family and now I can see a better future ahead.
Thank you Dr. Anderson for your passion and consideration, for being there for not only me, but with all the other Disabled American Veterans you have assisted, while preparing my Claim for Benefits.
By Dr. Vivian Anderson