President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise that he would reform the healthcare system. This includes a repeal and replacement of “Obamacare,” but there was another element, too. He pledged to reform the way America’s veterans are being treated in their own, dedicated healthcare system.
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So what’s taking so long? That’s what a couple in North Carolina are asking. They shared photos from a recent trip to a Veterans Administration hospital in Durham, North Carolina.
The Marine veteran and his wife were appalled at what they found. So they captured the moment and shared it on Facebook.
The images were posted by Hanna and Stephen McMenamin. They were shocked to see these two men in so much pain, and wrote that they were ignored for hours. One of the men reportedly fell from his wheelchair. The other was so exhausted that he lay down on the floor of the waiting room.
Now those images are beginning to get the attention they deserve. And how about the veterans themselves? Are they getting better treatment?
That looks promising, too. Marine Corp. Times is reporting that “the head of the medical center says an employee involved has been removed from patient care pending an internal review.”
Jesse Lee, a Vietnam veteran, told a local television outlet (WRAL-TV) he is the man in the wheelchair. His leg has been amputated, but he’s still suffering from pains he associates with the amputated leg.
“Somebody in real bad pain should be seen,” Lee told the station. “It felt like a railroad spike was going through my foot. It’s like one of the worst pains you’ve ever felt in your life.”
The man who fell to the floor was “very shaky, trembling and he was asking for help. He was getting pretty desperate,” Stephen McMenamin wrote. One nurse reportedly passed by the men multiple times without assisting.
“That’s somebody’s dad, that’s somebody’s grandfather,” Hanna McMenamin said.
“It is an honor to serve America’s heroes and actions that do not align with our core values will not be tolerated,” she said in a statement. “We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality care to the Veterans we serve and being responsive to our patient’s needs. Veterans deserve nothing less.”
Leave it to grass-roots accountability to begin the reform. But this is just one hospital. The President needs to step-up, now, and make this a priority.