These Photos from a VA Hospital Have Many Outraged

March 2nd 2017

Thor Benson

Viral photos posted on Facebook this week that allegedly show the terrible conditions inside a Veterans Affairs hospital in Durham, North Carolina are sparking outrage, the Huffington Post reported.

veterans hospital

The photos purport to depict a veteran lying on the floor and another slouched in a wheelchair, and they do not appear to be receiving medical attention. They were posted by a woman named Hana McMenamin, who was there with her husband, a former Marine.

In a Facebook post describing the experience, McMenamin says the man in the wheelchair had been waiting at least three hours for help, and he was yelling in pain and nearly convulsing. She did not see nurses attempting to help him. The man seen on the floor allegedly came in very sick and said he need to lie down, and he was told to sit in a chair. She writes that he tried to tell nurses he could not sit up but was told he must sit, so he eventually laid on the ground.



durham va

An update to the Facebook post claims the VA contacted McMenamin and said the men pictured asked for the photos to be taken down, but McMenamin wrote she would not take them down until the men or someone close to each of them specifically requested it. She is hoping to expose poor hospital conditions that she feels need to be fixed.

The man pictured in the wheelchair explained how horrible the situation was for him to the Huffington Post. “It was the worst thing to ever happen in my life,” Vietnam War veteran Jesse Lee, 63, said. Lee lost a leg to diabetes and was experiencing excruciating phantom leg pain. “I sat there for five hours in this pain,” he said. 

Meghan McCain, daughter of Vietnam veteran and P.O.W. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), called the images "shameful" on Twitter.

Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) responded on Facebook by saying there is "no excuse for the recent events at the VA in Durham where veterans in need were left laying on the floor in pain."

A public affairs officer at the Durham medical center told the Huffington Post that an investigation into the situation will be completed in roughly a week, and they said the photos were taken during a very busy day at the hospital.

Durham Medical Center Director DeAnne Seekins responded to the incident on Facebook by saying she is glad someone brought this terrible situation to her attention, and the nurse in charge at that time was "immediately removed from patient care pending the results of an internal review."

ATTN: reached out to the Department of Veterans Affairs but did not receive a response before this article was published.