Wife Accuses VA In Husband's Death While Congressman Proposes A - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Wife Accuses VA In Husband's Death While Congressman Proposes A Hearing

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Another family is speaking out about their frustration and anger over a loved one's care at the Norwood VA Medical Center. Dee Griffin joins us with their story and how a local leader is stepping up to help.

Today, Congressman John Barrow met with the current Director of the Norwood VA to talk about ways to prevent further problems at the Medical Center. While this is good news for the local VA's future.. it comes as little solace for families who fault the Medical Center for deaths in the past.

"They don't have a problem sending these soldiers to war. But they have a problem when it comes down to taking care of them," says Venus Cain.

As a member of the Richmond County Board of Education, Venus Cain is typically seen speaking out on behalf of children. Now, she's speaking out on behalf of her dead husband. "First he was always complaining about back pain and he was going to the VA and they were just giving him medicine for his back but I noticed for several months the medication looked like I was running a pharmacy," Cain explains.

Cain says her husband had been a regular patient at the Norwood VA Medical Center for at least two years and treated for constant back pain. But, at the beginning of 2012, as the pain increased so did her tough questions to VA Doctors and staff. "If they would have been aggressive enough, I believe in my heart, my husband may not have died a month later," she reflects.

Cain has kept a notebook of her constant dealing with the VA. She even filed a complaint but says her concerns fell on deaf ears.

After last week's acknowledgement of deaths at the Norwood VA that were caused by a delay in GI procedures and diagnoses, leaders are listening. So much so, Congressman John Barrow has requested a congressional hearing into the problems at the Norwood VA.

In a statement, Barrow says "We must hold the personnel responsible for these missteps accountable, and I'm committed to ensuring veterans get the best care possible in the future."

For Cain, it's small comfort for her big loss. "I hate the VA with everything in me for putting me through and my family and other family members through hell," Cain cries.

Venus Cain says her husband's death happened under a past Director.  She says the current Director of the VA Medical Center, Robert Hamilton, has listened to her concerns.

There's no word on when a Congressional Hearing will be held.

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