Army Specialist Charles Nelson contracted strep throat while on deployed in South Korea in 1988. Nelson was not treated for the condition which led to kidney issues later in life. He has already had one kidney transplant and is in need of another.
His son, Cody, who is a match is willing to be a donor to save his father's life. However, the VA is has refused to cover the cost of the transplant because Coty is not a veteran himself.
Charles and Coty have the option of flying hundreds of miles to one of two VA facilities where the cost would be covered. But, as aftercare post surgery will be a certainty for the elder Nelson, living in a motel half-way across the country without his family or any support is out of the question.
"I'm already having to deal with a sick husband - that my son is also going to be donating to him,” said Tamara Nelson. “But, not only that, I'm also having to fight the government to make this happen - which is disgusting. I mean it's bad." The VA did not respond until the Nelsons took their story to their local news agency. After their story made national headlines they received a call from a VA representative verbally promising to help them.
Charles and Coty have decided to have the transplant performed at a local hospital and use medicare to pay the balance. The VA has verbally agreed to pay the deductible for the family but the Nelson's aren't convinced as they have nothing in writing from the VA stating as such.
They have started a crowd-funding website which can be located here. Any funds collected over their goal will be donated to another Veteran going through similar circumstances.
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