Couple’s Photo While Visiting VA Hospital Goes Viral. Now People Are Demanding Answers

Updated March 8, 2017

On February 24, Marine veteran Stephen McMenamin and his wife Hanna walked into their local Veteran’s Affairs hospital in Durham, North Carolina for a scheduled appointment. Just moments after sitting down in the waiting room, the McMenamins spied an inexcusable problem.

What shocked the couple compelled them to pull out their phones and document the abuse happening right in the lobby for all to see.

One elderly wheelchair bound veteran was doubled over in pain and forced to wait 3 HOURS. But that wasn’t all. Another veteran was splayed out on the ground after the hospital staff “completely disregarded” and “completely neglected” him.

It was almost as if the hospital was waiting for them to expire. This was something military personnel had experienced under President Obama’s administration, but after Trump took office, people thought would get better…

While the McMenamins watched the suffering men, the man lying on his face on the dirty floor shouted to passing staff members.

“He just kind of laid down and said, ‘I can’t get up, I won’t get up. Please get me a blanket until you can see me,’” Stephen recalled. He was shocked and appalled by the treatment of these fellow veterans.

Hanna posted images of how the Durham Veteran’s Affairs hospital treated these elderly war heroes. The internet exploded with outraged, but it didn’t seem to inspire the North Carolina hospital to do any better.

Hanna said, “It’s just horrible sitting in a room like that with people who could have been my grandfather in that much pain and having people not even react, it seemed like,” Hanna said. “The majority of the people working there were very nice to us. They were great. It’s just that you have these people that don’t care it seems like, and from what I’ve read from the comments, this is happening all over the place.”

While the young Stephen and his wife were helped, the staff ignored the needy, elderly veterans suffering in pain on the floor. McMenamin then offered the man a wheelchair the staff had given him.

“He sat in it for probably 15 minutes until the head nurse came around and kicked him out and said he can’t do that, he can’t be in that area. She was very rough with him and just completely insensitive,” he said.

Stephen watched a suffering warrior “groaning and convulsing in pain” until he was “falling out of his wheelchair.”

Hanna added, “he was visibly in pain. And I think the thing with that that disturbed me so much was that there were people just sitting there acting like nothing was happening and he was sitting right in front of them and they were not even acknowledging that it was happening.”

Director of this VA Hospital, DeAnne Seekins saw the photos and agreed that her hospital delivered subpar care I this instance. She released the following in a statement:

“We take seriously any allegation of poor service. I was made aware of a regrettable incident that occurred in our Emergency Department over the weekend and am thankful someone cared enough to share the incident with us. Our mission is to provide the highest level of health care to Veterans, so upon learning of the incident, I took swift action. The employee was immediately removed from patient care pending the results of an internal review. We truly regret how this Veteran was treated.”

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