12 OYS: Vet pleads with VA hospital, "I don't need narcotics, I need surgery."

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / May 30, 2014

NORWOOD, Ga. (WRDW) -- Eddie Browning said he believes doctors at Augusta's VA hospital are taking the cheap route, by prescribing him an endless supply of pain medications rather than perform a surgical procedure to restore his quality of life.

"Frustration, absolute, frustration beyond imagination. For so many years I've been trying to get help from the VA for damage they caused me," Browning said.

The Navy veteran said for more than a decade he has begged surgeons at Charlie Norwood VA Hospital for a medical procedure that he said would allow him to live a normal life again.

"They just won't do it. It's like a conspiracy of silence. They just pass you around from one person to another," Browning said.

Veterans' Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is out of a job. He resigned under a cloud of controversy following deaths at VA hospitals across. He said in 1996 after experiencing rectal bleeding, doctors at the VA hospital only made matters worse.

"They took something called a proctoscope, and stuck it in me and ripped me open. Ripped me wide open," Browning said.

He said he was put on a waiting list for 3 years before the hospital would perform corrective surgery to repair the damage. At the time, Browning said doctors told him it would eventually require another surgery to keep the passage open.

"I have a stricter. I cannot pass what I put in me," said Browning. Now instead of surgery, Browning said doctors continue to prescribe pain medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone and even prescription laxatives.

"I have begged them, please for God's sake help me. I need surgery. We can't help you, we won't do it," Browning said.

He said he has lost 50 pounds, and is unable to eat any food. Browning showed us his stomach which he said is painful to the touch, because it is so swollen from the blockage.

"I don't need narcotics, I need surgery," Browning said. "The ones I need. The surgeons that can help me. I really have no idea how these people got into power."

While he admits there are some good doctors at Augusta's VA hospital, they are not the ones making the decisions about his quality of life.

News 12 reached out to a VA spokesperson regarding what Browning calls a lack of concern about his care at hospital.

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