Virginia veteran who waited for months finally gets surgery date after 12 Investigates

Virginia veteran who waited for months finally gets surgery date after news report
Source: NBC12
Source: NBC12

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Cumberland County veteran who's been waiting for surgery on his shoulder for more than eight months is finally getting help.

Brian Kearns is an Army vet who lost the use of his legs in a training accident in 1982. You might say Brian Kearns never wastes a moment.

"I make the most of every day that the Lord gives me," said Kearns.

Unfortunately, he's been waiting for his appointment for shoulder surgery at the the McGuire VA since March. He also had skin cancer surgery, but he believed the cancer came back and couldn't get an appointment to see a dermatologist until April of 2017.

Since the wait was so long for both appointments, the VA sent him to Veteran's Choice - a two-year-old, $10 billion federal program meant to get vets help quicker.

Veteran's Choice promised that vets forced to wait more than 30 days for an appointment or forced to travel more than 40 miles to a VA hospital could get care closer to home through non-VA doctors.

"To me, it's a figment of the veteran's administration's imagination," said Kearns. "They think they've created a program that will help. They didn't. They created a program that's worse."

After his story aired on NBC12, he got a call from McGuire VA the next morning. He's having surgery on his shoulder Monday morning.

He also got a call from Veteran's Choice about his skin cancer.

We will continue to follow his story and bring you an update in the next few weeks after his surgery.

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