Mid-South Veterans Share Hospital Horror Stories

(Memphis) Now that there is a congressional investigation into Memphis’ VA hospital, fed-up veterans want their voices heard.

A group of Memphis vets and their families shared their experiences at the VA.

The meeting comes after investigations revealed errors by VA staff contributed to three deaths.

From hateful comments from doctors to inadequate care, veterans and their loved ones took turns exchanging horror stories they say they experienced at the Memphis VA hospital.

“Because they didn’t act on the severity of my case, I had to have 18 inches of my intestine removed,” one vet said.

He didn’t want to be identified, but said he went without food in his hospital room for three days.

“I didn’t get fed. It was just ice chips.”

He survived to tell his story.

Stephanie Davis’ fiancé did not.

Melvin Lesure arrived at the hospital swollen. Doctors said it was a cheese allergy.

“They told him he would be alright,” she said.

A few days later, he was dead.

Hospital records show he didn’t have an allergy — he had MRSA.

“If they would have tested his blood work they would have seen he had MRSA,” Davis said.

Now her family, like so many others, wants answers.

“We want to know what happened,” she said. “Why they didn’t keep him? Why they didn’t treat him.”

While they look for closure, veteran Randy Wade hopes this meeting opens the eyes of lawmakers.

They hired a camera crew to record the vets’ stories so they could be shared with lawmakers.

“’We refuse absolutely to be mistreated by veterans admin or VA hospital so we’re serving notice our voices will be heard,” Wade said.

A new fight for old and young vets alike to get the care they deserve.

Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks was at the meeting Tuesday night.

She said these stories were horrible, and unacceptable and she will do whatever she can on the local level to hold the VA accountable.

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