Vietnam Vet starts hunger strike against VA clinic, currently in - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Vietnam Vet starts hunger strike against VA clinic, currently in hospice

Willie Ross, Vietnam Veteran Willie Ross, Vietnam Veteran
An Albany Vietnam Veteran says he's starting a hunger strike Monday. The VA did take care of some of Willie Ross's complaints, but he says he still wants to bring attention to problems with the VA. 

Willie Ross says right now he's waiting for medicine that's critical for him. He says he'll do whatever it takes to get the VA to improve. 

 66-year-old Willie Ross says he's starting a hunger strike after waiting for several days for kidney medication from the VA hospital in Dublin. 

 "They keep telling me they sending me the medication in the mail to make my urine flow,” said Willie Ross. “I haven't seen no medication. I haven't gotten none in the mail." 

 Ross says without the medicine, he's gained 8 pounds. He's on multiple other medications for his heart and sometimes needs a wheelchair to get around. 

"I'm in pain, I'm weak, I'm hurting,” said Ross. 

 Ross says he got fed up with poor customer service and a lack of quality care at the Albany clinic about a year ago, so he moved his primary care to the clinic in Dublin. He says it led to costly trips back and forth to the clinic even for routine checkups. 

 "The trip I made to Dublin, I had to scuffle up the money to get up there,” said Ross. “Then I filled out a travel voucher, I don't know when I'll ever get it. It takes to long for them to do things by mail." 

As of last week, Ross doesn't have to make those frequent trips to Dublin. The VA put him under the care of Affinis hospice in Albany, where nurses, a social worker and chaplain provide around the clock care. He says he's happy with their service, but says he will continue the VA hunger strike. 

 "I gotta do something to get their attention,” said Ross. “I think they let me down, they trying to cover up and I'm not satisfied with it. They are lying about a lot of things." 

 Ross says he would like Congressman Sanford Bishop and Georgia's U.S. Senators to take action. Affinis Hospice is currently paying for Ross's heart medication. They say they are looking forward to getting him back to good health.

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