Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dying Wish of Vietnam Veteran, Fix the VA

Vietnam veteran's dying wish: Improve VA healthcare
Hawaii News Now
By Mileka Lincoln, Reporter
September 14th 2016

Hall was one of more than 4,300 veterans receiving VA care on the Big Island, where there are only four VA doctors.
KALAPANA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sixty-eight-year-old Roy Hall was holding his wife Edy's hand when he passed away on Saturday.

The combat-wounded Vietnam veteran and forever Marine died exactly one month after he was diagnosed with lung cancer at a Hilo emergency room.

Hall was a long-time U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs patient who claims his VA doctor missed the diagnosis -- and by the time someone else caught it, it was terminal.

Hall was one of more than 4,300 veterans receiving VA care on the Big Island, where there are only four VA doctors.

"I wish I would've gotten killed in Vietnam," Hall said, from his death bed. "Then I wouldn't have to go through this. I f***ing hate it."

In Hall's final days, it was his dying wish to share his story with others in hopes it could lead to improved health care for all service members.

His wife Edy, a veteran herself who served in the Air Force and beat both breast and colon cancer, calls it her husband's final mission.

In August 2014, Roy says he went to the Hilo VA primary care clinic seeking treatment for debilitating back pain.

Over the next two and a half years, Roy and Edy Hall say his physician repeatedly prescribed him pain pills and referred him to his VA psychiatrist for management of his PTSD.

"Eight months ago he started slowing down," Edy Hall said. "The pain was getting worse and worse. He didn't want to go back to the doctor because he kept telling him it was his PTSD or he was surfing too much, instead of even doing just an x-ray. Then he started losing weight like crazy. And then he even said, 'I think I have cancer.'"
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