More Tampa V.A. problems?
Another family steps forward, citing concerns with soldier's care
Video by fox4now.com
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Are wounded soldiers getting substandard care at the V.A. hospital in Tampa?
It's an issue Fox 4 first exposed a year ago, when the family of local wounded soldier Corey Kent blew the whistle on what they called unsaniary conditions and poor care at the facility.
Now Kent's step-father Dan Ashby says the problems are back and now affecting another soldier.
Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan is taking their concerns all the way up to the top.
The family got in touch with Ashby, who advocates for veterans through his non-profit, National Coalition for Patriots. He got in touch with Fox 4, to see what can be done.
"It looks like once again, we're having care issues with the soldiers," Ashby said.
Pictures from the 'Nick Battles, US Marine' Facebook page show a young man, dealing with a serious injury. He still manages to smile in every picture.
The young Marine from the Tampa area was injured during boot camp, when he broke his neck and was instantly paralyzed. He's been at the Tampa V.A. since December. His family says he's been receiving substandard care ever since.
"We're trying every avenue that we have to help this family out," Ashby said.
Battles' family reached out to Ashby, who continues to fight for reforms at the Tampa V.A.
"The problems they're having are very, very similar to the ones that we had," Ashby said. "It's kinda disheartning that it's a year later and we're right back in the same situation for another soldier."
Hogan spoke with the Marine's mom over the phone. She declined a phone interview with Fox 4 but said her son can't move on with his rehab while he's constantly battling other issues like bedsores and infections.
Hogan reached out by phone and by email to Tampa V.A. officials to see what can be done. A spokesperson responded in this email, saying quote:
"Generally speaking when we become aware of concerns either by a patient or their next of kin, we work diligently to ensure we are providing the care they expect and if we are not meeting those expectations, we work collaboratively with the patient/family to resolve any concerns as quickly as possible."
Hogan also reached out to Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Congressman Connie Mack (R) to see if their offices could look into the matter. Hogan also reached out to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"They can make that hospital look like the Ritz-Carlton," Ashby said. "As long as the care isnt there, it's not gonna make any difference."
Colleen Hogan, reporter