Veteran Waiting for Answers after Receiving Wrong Surgery Procedure - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Veteran Waiting for Answers after Receiving Wrong Surgery Procedure

Veteran Waiting for Answers after Receiving Wrong Surgery Procedure
By: CJ Cassidy

We're still hearing stories from veterans who say they suffered at the hands of a VA Doctor in Marion, Illinois.

Now a new plan by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin would make sure that never happens again.

The Veterans Health Care Quality Improvement Act would tighten the process for hiring doctors.  It would require doctors applying to the VA to disclose any past malpractice issues, and improve quality control.  The bill also includes incentives to attract high quality doctors to veterans hospitals.

But one veteran in southeast Missouri says he's still suffering from previous problems.

He doesn't want you to know who he is but says surgery on his colon went horribly wrong.

"If I'm on my feet for over five minutes at a time.  I can't go further without having to sit.  It makes it look like I'm pregnant.  I went to Marion for a routine operation, and have part of my colon taken out and next thing I know I wake up about 55 days later," he said.

Documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs show he went in for one procedure but received another.  They also cite a delay in treating a resulting infection.

The VA began investigating Dr. Jose Veizaga Mendez after nine of his surgical patients died.

The Navy veteran claims he is one of 34 Mendez patients brought in for further testing after surgery.

He's still waiting for answers.

"I don't feel like the country let us down.  I feel as though we've got a lot of bureaucrats in the VA and they try to play like they're better than anybody that's served in the military," he said.

Senator Durbin's new plan gives the veteran some hope his road to recovery will be a smooth one.

"I believe they should allow you to go and get your medical care anywhere.  The way I feel, the VA did this to you once.  It's hard to trust them again," he said.

The veteran says he can't eat without feeling any pain and his back bothers him all the time.

So far he says he hasn't had seen one cent in the way of claims.

Outpatient surgeries just resumed last week at the Marion VA Hospital.

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