Update for JC Snowden . Condemned to Mental ward by VA healthcare team.
Hello - this story is a "human interest" piece about how a home town veteran and war hero suffering with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a gunshot wound to the head from combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 has been "condemned" to be placed into a long term mental institution by the VA healthcare system. Additionally, this is about how the VA system failed to do the right thing initially for Chad - and our family - by not placing him in an appropriate recovery setting versus locking him up in a psychiatric hospital in Waco TX while providing only 6 months of rehabilitation over the course of the past 8 years.
That is when we - as a family - after reviewing all of the VA facilities for TBI victims found the Eisenhower Center in Ann Arbor, MI. After approaching the VA with this facility and detailing the program of recovery for patients like Chad the VA refused to pay for the Behavioral Modification Program (BMOD) offered by the Eisenhower Center. This facility went so far as to lower the costing to meet to lowest price of any nationally accredited program that the VA might utilize elsewhere - and the VA still said NO!
The rehabilitative team at the Eisenhower Center knew they could help Chad based on past performance and experience with like patients and stated so to the VA however even with that experience as well as the discounted rates the VA STILL refused to fund Chad.
In the end - the VA gave up on Chad and the Eisenhower Center has not!
Since June of this year, our family and our advocate, have worked tirelessly for Chad's rights as a severely injured TBI Veteran in holding the VA accountable for our son's care.
In November, the VA wanted to try some additional programs in Texas because that is where Chad's home of record is...NOT because these programs would be beneficial to his well being. This has been a constant message over the past 8 years; experimentation with different programs that do not address the core needs of our son.
As we write to you today we truly are at the "last hour" of hope for Chad...and trying to avert a tragedy.
As a parent and a guardian having to fight a system whose sole purpose is to support those injured in combat in order to get the appropriate care for our son is without merit, logic or moral standing. This is about a process that is flawed and has been mismanaged since our son returned from Iraq in 2004...and it continues to this day.
Our last hope of making sure Chad receives the proper therapies has been to take Chad - on our own - to the Eisenhower Center and allow them the opportunity to work with him in facilitating his rehabilitation...and, hopefully making progress after lost years at the hands of the VA; years which have cost Chad greatly!
Now...we are forced to raise not only money but also awareness for Chad and the other brain injured veterans who suffer the same fate as our son.
The VA continues to refuse to pay for certain rehabilitation programs - like the Eisenhower Center - and continually battles the families in abject disregard for the best interests of these disabled warriors. In our case, and many others like it, the VA has fought us "every inch of the way" with a final condemnation of "long term, inpatient psychiatric lock-up" because in their own words..."we have nothing else to offer him."
This is unsatisfactory for men and women who have given so much in the defense of our Nation!
These statements alone by the VA would be horrific enough if that was all there was, however the abuse and lack of care does not stop there.
In October 2013, Chad was a patient at theT BI program at Walter Reed Hospital undergoing medication adjustments to control emotion and seizures. During his time there Chad was held against his will by staff for over 30 days until the the family acquiesced and "considered" sending Chad to facility in Texas. When we arrived in San Antonio and met with the medical staff, they stated that this "was not the appropriate place for Chad" and that he needed "long term behavioral modification" in order to reach any goals possible for him.
This is why Chad is at the Eisenhower Center today and why your help is needed as the VA still WILL NOT fund our son for this rehabilitation program.
Chad has served his country...and paid an extreme cost for those services. We are asking for your help in making sure he gets the treatment needed!
As a mother of a Wounded Warrior...I thank you for you time in this matter
- US Congressman
Michael C Burgess, MD.
- VA Inspector General: 1-800-488-8244
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Washington, DC Eric K. Shinseki
Protect my son from being punishment due to Brain Injury sustained in Iraq. How does the US of America expect our men and women to go to war then come home and not get the proper rehab for their injuries. My son has suffered enough . Please make sure he is put into the right rehab for his Trauma Brain Injury instead of allowing the system to say all he deserves is to be locked up in a mental ward. PLease help our family now.
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