Vet on VA Waiting List for Over a Year Finally Receives Heart Surgery
There’s an update to a story we told you about last month. Retired Marine Corp veteran David Isham finally received heart surgery after the VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona kept him waiting for over a year.
Isham’s story is similar to those of veterans being kept on secret waiting lists at the VA hospital in Phoenix. Tragically, reports indicate that at least 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments.
In April, Isham told Gretchen Carlson on The Real Story that it has been difficult for him to work full time with his condition. He suffers from supraventricular tachycardia, which causes the upper half of his heart to beat faster than the lower half.
Isham’s dad, Steven, wrote a letter to Arizona Senator John McCain (R). It reads:
“My son is David A. Isham, United States Marine Corps, disabled. He had heart surgery on Tuesday morning after waiting for more than a year for proper care. The only reason he got the care was because he was on TV. He was released this morning and the pharmacy would not fill his prescription because the VA did not approve the pain killer. He is at home now and in pain. This is pure insanity.”
In a follow up interview, Gretchen spoke to both David and Steven Isham. David said he is “improving exponentially” since receiving surgery.
Steve said, “It’s common knowledge to everybody the problems at the VA. The idea that people will wait six months, a year just to get on a list to get an appointment has been going on for a long time.”
On Friday, Dr. Robert Petzel resigned as Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs. There are calls for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, but David doesn’t believe that’s the answer.
“If somebody’s done something wrong, they need to have the opportunity to fix it, and I think that he should have the opportunity to fix it,” David said, adding that Shinseki could be punished by taking on the average salary of $32K a year and have VA health care for his family until it’s resolved.