A New York nurse who used her own money to pay for a new wheelchair for a veteran at a VA hospital said she felt pressured to do it and was so overwhelmed she felt like she was “playing God”.
The nurse, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the experience, said she was sent to the hospital by a patient to check on her mother-in-law who was recovering from a heart attack.
“I didn’t know where the wheelchair would end up,” she told BuzzFeed News.
“I was asked to go in there, and I told them I needed a wheelchair.
I didn’t tell anyone that I was using my own money.”
The nurse said the wheelchair had already been given to a fellow veteran, but she was told by the hospital that the other veteran needed a different one.
She said she told a supervisor, who told her the wheelchair was not the right one and had been given by someone else.
The nurse asked for a refund, but was told that her supervisor would not accept it.
When the nurse arrived, she was shocked to see that the wheelchair she had requested for her mother had already left the hospital, along with her own.
“It was so embarrassing to see my mother- in-law not able to get a wheelchair,” she said.
“The wheelchair was so badly needed.”
The VA did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ requests for comment.
The nursing home also said that the nursing home had no control over the wheelchair.”VA nursing homes and other health care facilities are committed to providing care to our veterans and the needs of their caregivers in a safe, caring environment,” a VA spokesperson said in a statement.
“Our nursing home and other facilities are designed to support veterans’ physical and mental health needs and are committed and accountable to meeting the needs and recommendations of the American Psychological Association and other organizations.”
The nursing home has since been ordered to provide more care for the veteran.