Brenda Powell is of the belief that because of the massive delays in her husband's cancer treatment ultimately killed him. When he was first diagnosed compared to when he initially experienced treatment was a process of about five months.
It was last August that the VA had diagnosed veteran Larry Powell with lung cancer.
In December, Larry had said,
"Labs, exams, tests, retests because the original tests are not accurate; they're too old to be reliable. Go back and take them again, and that's the cycle we're going through."
For months after his initial diagnosis, Larry never received any kind of treatment. It was just months of tests and then months of re-testing.
It wasn't until late January that the VA finally approved Larry to begin receiving radiation treatment at Mercy in Springfield.
"I continually pushed, take it out, take it out. Well, they were only concerned about what the VA was willing to pay for, because that's what they had recommended at the time," Brenda says.
It was in may that the couple had learned that Larry's cancer had spread in his lungs and had also spread to one of his kidneys.
"So at that point, I knew the outcome was probably not going to be with us," Brenda says.
Unfortunately Larry quickly passed on June 17th.
Larry's wife is now grieving and struggling without him.
She is also the sole guardian of their grandchildren, Layla and Brandon.
"It was the most emotional, heartbreaking thing for those kids to go through. That's what the delays cause," Brenda says.
The VA's full statement was,
"We take the care of all Veterans very seriously, and want to ensure quality care is provided in a timely manner. To protect patient privacy, we cannot divulge specific medical information. If there is any situation where a Veteran or family member believes care is being delayed, we urge them to reach out to their Primary Care clinics or to contact our Patient Advocates by calling 479-444-5047."
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