[Ed. – And he’s one of the lucky ones who didn’t die. Emphasis added.]
When Barry Coates went to William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, S.C. seeking treatment for abdominal pain in 2010, the doctor recommended a colonoscopy.
The screening was delayed for more than a year; when he finally got the procedure done, the test revealed advanced colorectal cancer.
Coates told his story before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Wednesday during a hearing on delays at VA hospitals.
“It is likely too late for me,” the 44-year-old Army veteran told the committee. “The gross negligence of my ongoing problems and crippling backlog epidemic of the VA medical system has not only handed me a death sentence, but ruined the quality of life I have for the meantime.”
Coates is now is hobbled by a colostomy bag and catheter. …
The Department of Veterans Affairs has been under scrutiny from outraged members of Congress after news investigations revealed 19 veterans died as a result of delayed cancer screenings.
Coates is one of 26 veterans at the Dorn VA Center who suffered because of delays, according to a report released Monday by the VA. Six of them died as a result of their delays.