Veteran Denied Cancer Check-Up for Year by VA Dies


A U.S. Army veteran who fought the Veterans Administration for over a year to receive a cancer check-up has died. Norman Spivey, a Vietnam War veteran, finally received a colonoscopy which revealed Stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his liver and lymph nodes. And the nightmare for Spivey didn’t end there.

Spivey’s story of how his repeated attempts to schedule a colonoscopy fell on deaf ears at the VA hospital in Atlanta, Georgia was first reported by WXIA-TV in Atlanta. They broke the story at the same time the Veterans Affair scandal – one which included long wait times for veterans seeking medical care and secret wait lists to hide the treatment delays – was coming to light.

[tweetthis]Veteran who was denied cancer check-up for year by VA dies. #VAscandal #veterans[/tweetthis]

Did Delays from VA Hurt Veteran’s Chances to Treat Cancer

Could the military veteran’s life have been saved if the staff at the VA hospital had done its job and not ignored Spivey’s requests for a cancer check-up. That’s a question that his wife addressed when speaking with the WXIA-TV television station in Atlanta.

“I have no way of knowing that if he had had a colonoscopy a year ago, that the outcome would be any different,” his wife Gayla Spivey told the station back then. “But there’s always that possibility. A year? A year to work with it. You know. I mean, it many not have spread to the liver. It may not have spread to the lymph nodes. It may be okay. But right now, it’s not.”

Veteran VA Horror Story Doesn’t End with Delayed Cancer Check-Up

Just when you thought when the VA hospital staff couldn’t make things worse, they did. It was bad enough that they denied Spivey’s requests for a cancer check-up for a year. What they did next is unbelievable.

In July, the Vietnam War vet requested that the Veterans Administration start his chemotherapy treatment. How did they respond? Well, once again, hospital staff ignored Spivey.

It wasn’t until the television station contacted the VA hospital in Atlanta to ask why the staff wouldn’t schedule the start of his chemotherapy that progress was made and treatment started. So, it looks like bad publicity is more of a worry for the VA than the brave veterans who served our country.

Let’s hope we don’t continue to hear stories like this. It is time we demand that our veterans are treated respectfully and with dignity! Please share this blog post with your social networks to help us shine more light on this issue. Thank you to for bringing Norman Spivey’s story to our attention.

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