ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - An army veteran says the St. Louis Veterans Administration dropped the ball and it nearly cost him his life. His nightmare isn't over.
Veteran Tom Phillips and his wife Bernadette have been through a lot. One of the biggest battles for the army vet has been with the VA St. Louis healthcare system. Over the past four years he says he went to VA dozens of times since 2010 complaining of severe headaches. The last VA doctors visit about the headaches this past November.
"So, they did a few more tests and said we don't see anything thing wrong. Maybe you're taking too much aspirin for the headaches and over-medicating yourself." said Army Veteran Tom Phillips. "I said what I do. They said don't take any aspirin."
Reporter Elliott Davis asks, "You stopped taking the aspirin on the advice of VA. Then what happened?"
"Well, I just suffered with the headaches for 5 or 6 months. 7 months and one day, I just, I just fell out of the chair!" said Tom Phillips.
About three weeks ago Phillips was rushed to a private hospital with a stroke. Doctors told him he had a blood clot on the brain.
"He had brain surgery right then and there. It worked, thank the Lord." said Veteran's Wife Bernadette Phillips.
"The main complaint is they tell me I was over medicating myself; that there was nothing wrong with me. When I knew there was something wrong and then I practically die in my own living room six months later because they didn't see anything!" said Tom Phillips.
Phillips now has to pay the thousands of dollars in medical bills from the stroke."I couldn't tell the ambulance you have to take me to the VA. I wasn't responsive enough!" said Tom Phillips.
I reached VA for their comment. A spokeswoman sent me a statement saying, "Thank you for proving this information. I can assure you that we are reviewing the care received by this veteran. Every veteran deserves to receive first class care."