Sunday, January 7, 2018

VA Lawsuit: Tacoma VA

A Tacoma veteran died waiting for heart surgery from the VA. His family has sued

The News Tribune
Alexis Krell
January 7, 2017

He was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, a hereditary narrowing of his aortic valve. The VA put him on a surgical wait list to get a new one, and then sent him home. He learned June 24 that his surgery would be July 5. On July 1, he died at home.

A Tacoma veteran who needed a new heart valve died after a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center waited too long to do his surgery, his widow’s lawsuit says.
George Walker was 75 when he died at home July 1, 2016 — days before he was scheduled for surgery at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and a little more than a week after doctors knew he needed the operation, the complaint says.
“They absolutely shouldn’t have sent him home,” said attorney Jessica Holman Duthie, who represents the family.
After Walker’s death, his wife found paperwork that shows he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal in 1967 — things he didn’t talk about, she said. 
He worked for almost 30 years as the foreman of a forklift shop at a Seattle warehouse, where his blue coveralls and white beard earned him the nickname Papa Smurf.
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