Photos taken in a Durham, North Carolina VA Hospital by a veteran’s wife of elderly veterans waiting in pain have outraged the nation and gone viral, much to the dismay of the hospital.
Hanna McMenamin posted the photos on her personal Facebook page Saturday, explaining that she and her husband, Stephen McMenamin, a U.S. Marine veteran, had gone to the VA Hospital on Friday. The next day, she posted photos an an account of the horrifying experience on her Facebook page.
McMenamin told of elderly veterans having to wait in the waiting room in their wheelchairs for at least 3 hours, with one man yelling in pain and convulsing and no one paying him any heed, until McMenamin finally asked a nurse to check on him.
Another man was so ill he needed to lie down, but the nurse was rude to him, and refused to allow him to lie down in a recliner. He ended up just lying in the floor.
After publicly posting the photos, McMenamin said the hospital has demanded she remove them, using the excuse that the patients don’t want their photos published.
The McMenamins are from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and just moved to Raleigh, North Carolina a few months ago. In an interview with ABC 11 News, they said they have not had a good experience with the hospital since moving there. Once they had to wait six hours just to get a refill on a prescription.
Below is Hanna McMenamin’s original facebook post, that the VA Hospital in Durham has asked her to remove:
Below is the text to Hanna McMenamin’s full account:
Yesterday (2/24/17) while at the Durham, NC VA Hospital, my husband Stephen McMenamin and I witnessed some very disturbing events. The man in the wheelchair on the left, were waiting in that waiting room at least 3 hours. The man bent over grabbing the chair, was yelling in pain and was borderline convulsing and almost falling out of his chair he was in so much pain. No one paid him any attention until I approached a nurse to please check on him. This gentleman sat in the waiting room in extreme pain for hours upon hours with very little attention paid to him.
The gentlemen seen in the two photos on the right, came in extremely sick. He could barely walk, sit up, or breathe. My husband had been directed to a chair just off the waiting area because it reclined (my husband was being seen for extreme lower back pain). Upon this man walking in and telling the nurse he needed to lay down, and her telling him to have a seat (with very little regard for his well being), my husband got up and offered this man the reclining chair. This man sat in the chair for probably about 15 minutes before he was told he had to get up immediately.
Upon being approached by the nurse (who was extremely rude to him), he told her he could not sit up and he needed to lay down. She completely disregarded him and demanded he go sit in the waiting room area, leaving the recliner completely empty. Upon seeing this, and seeing how rude the nurse was being, my husband approached the nurse and asked why this man was not allowed to stay in the recliner given that my husband had been sitting in it for 30 plus minutes. The nurse refused to provide any explanation or even her name, and stormed off while this man was still struggling. The man then asked multiple times for a place to lean back or lay down, and was completely disregarded by the nurse. Eventually after being completely neglected, he laid on the floor.
The point of this post is to show the issues that exist at the VA. Yesterday at the VA we did encounter some nurses who genuinely cared about the patients, but after seeing what happened, I had to share this. There are good people that work at the VA and genuinely care, but then there are people like this particular nurse who should not be working with our nations finest. We did end up getting the nurses name who was extremely rude and neglected patients in need. And are planning to go through any means to make sure people know what was going on.
Please share this post. Our Veterans deserve better. And the problems in the VA system are very real.
UPDATE 2/27/17- The VA is very unhappy that we have posted this photo and it has been seen around the country. They have asked us again to remove this photo, claiming on of the participants does not want this posted. They claim to have told him his face is blocked out. I am not sure that they actually told him that, and I am sure they did not mention he is not identifiable. Due to potential legal concerns, John Burk has volunteered to help us continue getting the message out. Please like his Facebook page, I will link it below. Thank you to everyone for sharing, let’s keep on going with trying to make the changes that need to be made.
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