HOUSTON – A Houston family said their loved one was neglected and misdiagnosed at VA Medical Center.
“It is regrettable. It’s a horrible place. They have probably better places in Vietnam than they do now in the United States in Veteran’s Hospital,” said Constance Williams.
Family members say David Norman Williams was admitted to hospital on March 4 for a kidney transplant and says his health has since begun to decline.
His wife Constance said the past 64 days have been a nightmare and shared her story exclusively with KPRC.
Ms Williams says her husband weighs less than 100 pounds and fears what could happen to him. She says he missed her birthday, holidays and their anniversary.
“Sometimes I’m afraid to even enter the room because I think I’m going to find him dead,” she said.
Constance Williams is talking about her husband David. The 74-year-old has been at the VA Medical Center since March 4 fighting for his life.
“Nobody should be in this pain that I am in,” David told KPRC via video.
“David arrived with other patients who had undergone kidney transplants. Everyone left on the seventh day. We were the only ones left” Williams said.
Since then, Constance has said her husband has been abused, neglected and staff won’t listen to him.
“She has been complaining of stomach pain for over 30 days. I asked them what the problem was and they said they didn’t know. She started bleeding and had to drink four pints of blood,” she said.
He said staff put the feeding tube in his mouth incorrectly, and doctors nearly performed surgery on Williams the next day before realizing he was the wrong patient.
“His room is 298-D Williams. The other patient is O-Williams 246. The nurse came in and said you were wrong Mr Williams,” Constance said.
Williams says it’s been one problem after another.
“Swelling in his hands, he can’t digest, he can’t swallow then he ended up with pneumonia, then he had fungus in his throat and stomach,” he said.
In a statement a VA spokesperson said:
“These circumstances are unacceptable and we have apologized to the veteran and his family. In addition to addressing this specific situation immediately, we have already initiated a systemic review to ensure this does not happen in the future.
Veterans have earned and deserve the best care anywhere, and we at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will never settle for anything less. We will not rest until this issue is resolved – for this veteran and all veterans who entrust their care to us – and will be transparent every step of the way.”
Williams says her husband has developed blood pressure issues; he has bed sores from the feces that was left on him. She said stool was also left in her room and bathroom for several days. and around her room and bathroom for several days.
“When I go to the nurses’ station, I hear other veterans say help me, please someone come change me get me some water,” she said.
In a statement a VA spokesperson said:
“The circumstances surrounding this veteran’s bathroom cleaning and the staff’s slow response to his and his family’s concerns are unacceptable. We addressed the situation and apologized to the veteran and his family. We have already initiated a systemic review to ensure this does not happen again in the future.
Veterans have earned and deserve world-class healthcare, and we at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will never settle for anything less.”
“I told them you’re not sorry you got caught,” Williams said.
Williams said the hospital has made some changes.
“The day after I called you, Dr. Biati immediately came down. He set up an individual nurse for Mr. Williams and made sure he could stay clean,” Constance said.
Family and friends are praying for David as he remains in VA Hospital and hope he is released.
The family hired a lawyer.
Ms Williams says she asked staff to transfer David to another hospital but was told no because they performed the kidney transplant. She adds that David also developed blood clots in his legs, arms and on his heart. She doesn’t know when he will be discharged.
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