Photos of elderly veterans in extreme pain waiting for treatment at a VA hospital in Durham, North Carolina, are going viral.
Retired Marine Stephen McMenamin and his wife, Hannah, were waiting at the Durham VA Medical Center when they noticed two veterans who were struggling in the waiting room.
They said both older men were ignored for hours despite complaining of severe pain. They said one practically fell out of his wheelchair, and the other finally lay down on the floor after being denied a place to rest.
McMenamin told WSB-TV that his wife found the scene "upsetting," so she took pictures and posted them to Facebook.
The Facebook post has been shared more than 118,000 times, and McMenamin said other veterans who have had bad experiences at VA hospitals across the U.S. have reached out to them.
DeAnne Seekins, medical center director at the VA facility, released the following statement:
We take seriously any allegation of poor service. I was made aware of a regrettable incident that occurred in our Emergency Department over the weekend and am thankful someone cared enough to share the incident with us. Our mission is to provide the highest level of health care to Veterans, so upon learning of the incident, I took swift action. The employee was immediately removed from patient care pending the results of an internal review.
It is an honor to serve America’s heroes and actions that do not align with our core values will not be tolerated. 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.
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