Acton man offered VA doctor's appointment 2 years after death - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Acton man gets VA doctor's appointment 2 years after death

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ACTON, Mass. (WHDH) - Troubles at the Veterans Affairs Department hit home for a Massachusetts widow.

In 2011, Suzanne Chase’s husband, Doug, was diagnosed with brain cancer. He died four months later, but just last month, the VA sent him a letter offering an appointment.

“My initial reaction was disbelief, then I was angry,” she said.

What made her more angry was what the letter said: “We are committed to providing primary care in a timely manner and would greatly appreciate a prompt response.”

“I had been denied a funeral benefit because I had not used the VA. Now you’re telling me, after he’s been dead for 22 months, he can have an appointment?” Chase said.

Doug was a Vietnam veteran and had been making the trip from Acton into Boston to receive treatment. Suzanne said when they tried to transfer his care closer to home, they were unable to.

Suzanne said she knows her husband’s cancer was incurable, but she worries that other veterans who might benefit from treatment are falling through the cracks.

“What I want to see is that veterans get treated better, get treated like human beings,” Chase said.

The director of the VA called her personally Monday to apologize and said there would be an investigation into what happened.
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