Veterans React To VA Hospital Treatment In Alabama
Veterans in Montgomery are speaking out about their treatment in veterans hospitals, after Veteran's Affairs Secretary, Eric Shinseki, stepped down on Friday.
We spoke with a veteran and his family who say he went to VA hospitals in Montgomery, Tuskegee, and Birmingham for depression treatment, and after two years of mistreatment and cancelled appointments, he says had to get outside care for help.
Jerry Daughtry is a Vietnam War veteran. In the Summer of 2012, he says he went to the Montgomery VA Hospital for depression. After what he says were months of rescheduled appointments and long wait times to see a doctor, he was admitted to Tuskegee's inpatient VA hospital for his condition, "There was times that we would go and see him that he would have the same clothes on that he would have 3 days before," says his daughter-in-law, Kristie Daughtry.
Jerry Daughtry adds, "I even seen one guy come in the room one night there, and he thought I was sleeping, but when he started out the door, I hate to say it, but I seen him urinating in the trash can."
The family says Daughtry was left in his room without a phone, clock, or even a calendar to know what day it was. Daughtry was released from the hospital in October or 2013 after 8 months of treatment.
He was supposed to have a follow up appointment with the VA in November, but they say the VA cancelled it, "We finally decided as a family that we were going to take him out and get him outside help from doctors and brought him to the assisted living. And since October, we've still had some different battles to fight, but he's very much improved," says Kristie Daughtry.
Jerry Daughtry says the treatment made his depression worse, "if they can't protect me and help me out. Why should I have went through all I did?"
The Daughtry family says the VA is still paying for his medications, but nothing else.
We called both the Montgomery and Tuskegee VA Medical Centers for comment, but we have not yet heard back.