DESLOGE, Mo. – The widow of a U.S. Army veteran says her husband died of illnesses she believes should have been diagnosed by his VA doctors in Farmington.
"It's sad for the VA to treat people like that. Because they treat them like dogs," said Katherine Myers.
William Myers was a U.S. Army veteran and a truck driver for over 30 years.
"He was my best friend," said Myers.
Myers lost her husband on New Year's Day, and his death is still painful
"I go to bed at night and I cry," she said.
In a three-page letter to NewsChannel 5, Myers detailed her husband's VA health care during the last year of his life. On December 11, Myers says her husband's physician at the Farmington VA Clinic was informed that William Myers had numbness in his arm and a persistent cough.
Myers says the VA doctor did no examination about the numbness and didn't indicate anything was wrong with his lungs.
She says on December 20 an ambulance took her husband to Parkland Hospital's emergency room after he fell at home. He received a CT scan.
"That's when they came back and told me and my son that he had lung cancer and brain cancer. It shocked me. I started crying," she said.
Twelve days later, William Myers died. On his death certificate it said he had lung cancer for months. How many months, nobody knows.
Myers believes the VA should have found her husbands lung and brain cancers much sooner.
"I want to know why they waited around all year last year and the lung cancer was never brought up," she said.
The bill from the VA angered Myers even more. It's for an outpatient care visit on January 22. William Myers died on January 1.
On Tuesday we notified the VA in Poplar Bluff about this story. On Wednesday, Katherine Myers faxed permission for the VA to comment on her husband's care, but we were unable to get an on-camera response.
VA spokesperson Angela Smith sent an email, which reads, in part:
"We are very committed to our mission of providing high quality care to our veterans. We are taking steps to review our process along with the veteran's medical records to ensure our standards have been met."