Valley Veteran Faces Obstacles to Receive Kidney Transplant
EDINBURG – A Rio Grande Valley veteran said her health is failing and the Veteran Affairs won't allow her to see a kidney specialist.
Gloria Lamb said as a child she worked alongside her parents and sisters as a migrant worker.
She told CHANNEL 5 NEWS she joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school. It was her way of escaping the fields.
"I didn't want to be picking cotton again," Lamb explained.
In 2010, her heath took a turn for the worst. She explained her kidneys and liver began to fail. She began dialysis treatments.
She said since then she's tried to be on transplant list, but is denied each time.
The Navy veteran told CHANNEL 5 NEWS even her attempts to see a kidney specialist is denied by the VA.
"You just see a wall, a VA wall. They don't look at you, they don't look at the whole person that you are. I have a right to live, and I demand that," Lamb told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.
VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Public Affairs Officer Reynaldo Leal said his office is working hard to erase the idea of a VA wall.
"In fact we are really pushing forward with these initiatives to not only provide customer service, but improve the veteran's experience overall and that includes the emotional impact," Leal explained.
Due to the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act, Leal couldn't discuss Lamb's medical history.
However, he said his office will do all they can to help veterans see the specialist they need.
"So when it comes to specialty care we do a lot of work with the outside community. We have a lot of community partners," said Leal.
Leal said his office is eager to hear any and all concerns that veterans have about their experience with the VA.
He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS veterans can call the VA Texas Valley Costal Bend Customer Service line at 956-291-9243 to report any problems or frustrations they are having.
Lamb explained she is tired of being ignored. She wants the care she deserves.