Veteran hospitalized, family struggling to pay bills says they're getting no help from VA

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START, La. (KNOE) - A veteran's family from Start, Louisiana is being slammed with hospital bills. Robert Bridges has been fighting for his life since the beginning of March 2018. His wife, Debbie, said she has not received any help from Veterans Affairs.

Veteran's family says they're getting no help from V-A.
Veteran's family says they're getting no help from V-A.

"All of these are his hospital bills that I've been getting," Debbie said. "He'd stopped breathing. I didn't know what to do."

She said when Robert's heart stopped, he was rushed to a hospital in Rayville and put on life support. Since he is a veteran, Debbie said the hospital tried to find him a VA hospital.

"They called the VA in Shreveport in the VA in Mississippi, and neither one of them would take him," she said.

Since they were full, Robert was sent to Merith Health Central in Jackson, Mississippi. Debbie said he is still there and the bills are piling up quick. She said she has reached out to the VA for help but they told her "They're not responsible. They say they didn't authorize me to send him to another hospital."

The VA sent KNOE this statement:

"The VA remains committed to addressing the healthcare needs of our Veterans. Due to patient privacy, we are restricted in relaying specific information about patient health care. The VA will work directly with the family and the private healthcare provider to work in the best interest of the Veteran. "

Debbie said she has reached out to Congressman Ralph Abraham's office for help.

Abraham said, "We need to honor our commitment to the veterans." He said caring for veterans is a priority.

"They have earned the best, and we need to give them the best, and that does include healthcare," he said.

The Ouachita Parish Department of Veterans Affairs said there is a process to follow if a VA hospital is full. Bridges was supposed to be made aware to take her husband to the nearest hospital capable of caring for him until a room became free.

She said she never knew that.

If you or someone you know needs veteran's assistant contact Michael Shaw at 318-237-9689