Hospitals, in general, are places where people can easily find stories of headaches and heartache. Durham VA Hospital was no different. On Friday, February 14th, a couple was forced to wait several hours on end in the Emergency Room. It was then when they snapped some disturbing photos and even recorded a short video of three veterans who were completely ignored by the hospital staff.
Stephen McMenamin, Marine veteran, and his wife, Hanna, moved from their home in Milwaukee to Raleigh only four months ago. During their multiple visits to the Durham VA Hospital, the couple amassed an armload of personal stories about long wait times at the health facility, both in the Emergency Room once at the hospital, as well as to get appointments.
However, the events that unfolded before their eyes on Friday left a mark and they recorded everything that went down in order to raise awareness on the poor medical care three patients stuck with them in the waiting room received. The photos were posted on Facebook, where they were shared over 84,000 times. As the couple was waiting patiently for their turn, they noticed an elderly veteran in a wheelchair in need of immediate attention and visibly in pain.
“He had been sitting there for quite some time groaning and convulsing in pain. Almost to the point of where he was falling out of his wheelchair”, said Stephen McMenamin.
In spite of his condition, however, staffers completely ignored the man. Even more so, a nurse, whose name was not released to the press, showed a disturbing degree of disrespect to the veteran, saying he was not supposed to be there, in the first place, and then kicked him out. Furthermore, the couple intervened and asked for someone to tend to the patient, but everyone available refused.
Soon afterward, another veteran walked through the hospital’s doors looking deathly ill. After he, too, was made to wait, the man couldn’t stand his pains anymore and simply laid on the floor asking for a blanket. Approximately five minutes later, security guards helped the man up and escorted him out of the waiting room.
In light of the events, DeAnne Seekins, Director of the Durham VA Hospital, issued a statement, saying the nurse who mistreated the patients was removed from care pending an internal investigation and reassured those in need the health facility’s doors are always opened. She said that the patients who were allegedly mistreated were, in fact, pleased with the care they get. However, the patient who laid on the floor was tracked by investigators and said he felt like he got terrible care when interviewed about the incident.
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