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Patient declared dead by V.A. turns out to be very alive

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The Veterans Administration’s abuse of patients has apparently been extended to the families of former service men and women. NBC affialiate LEX 18 in Lexington, Ky., reports:

A Central Kentucky family says the VA Hospital in Lexington made a major mix-up. They tell LEX 18 that the hospital declared their loved one dead, days ago. However, that family tells us that man is still alive.

The incident began a week ago today, when Jennifer Dunn awoke and found that her husband, Danny Dunn, was unresponsive. The veteran was rushed initially to a hospital in Harrodsburg, where the couple lives, then flown to the V.A. Hospital in Lexington … where Danny Dunn was pronounced dead.

After hearing the tragic news, Jennifer Dunn recalls:

I asked him if I could go back in there one more time before I left. And when I went back in there, the man had a heart rate and blood pressure was holding good and everything.

Four days later, the formerly dead man squeezed his wife’s hand, opened his eyes, and performed other feats that are remarkable for an individual who is alleged to have shuffled off this mortal coil.

Now the family’s main goal is to have Danny Dunn moved to another facility.

Lexington’s V.A. Hospital released a statement reading in part:

Veterans can have confidence that our staff of dedicated and professional providers is committed to working with them and their families to honor their wishes and support their needs.

The hospital would not comment on the specific case of Danny Dunn, whose family wants answers. Said Dunn’s son, Tyler:

They said his soul was gone and that he wasn’t living no more. That he was gone long before we got him there… I mean we’re just looking for answers and they won’t give us any.

In the meantime, acting V.A. Secretary Sloan Gibson told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that the problems plaguing the Veterans Administration are fixable. All that is needed, he added, is a mere $17.6 billion, which in Obama administration dollars is less than a drop in the bucket. The money, he explained, would help V.A. medical centers decrease appointment waiting times and hire more doctors. He added that the agency might even explore the possibility of hiring capable medical professionals, who distinguish the quick from the dead.

OK, he didn’t really say that last part, which would have required more candor that appointees in this administration can muster.

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