When a blood clot threatened Richard’s life, VA gave him a new heart.

When a blood clot threatened Richard’s life, VA gave him a new heart.


[MUSIC]>>TEXT: Richard, Marine Corps
Veteran, VA, Health care>>SPEAKING: My name’s Richard. I
was in the Marine Corps. I was a cook. I served from 1977 to
1980. I fell off a roof. And I was tarring the roof, and a
bucket of tar hit me in the chest when I was on the ground.
And about a month later, a blood clot broke loose and hit the
bottom part of my heart. I went into the hospital, and they went
in. And I went into full coronary. When I got to the
hospital, they hit me with some clot-dissolver. And then while I
was laying there, just asking insurance this and that and
everything else, that’s when my sister-in-law said something
about maybe the VA could step in and help us, because that kind
of money was really tough to come up with. So they contacted
the VA, and the VA sent out a representative. And we talked a
little bit, and a week later, they accepted me. And the only
reason I am sitting here today talking to anybody is because of
the VA. The VA sent me to the heart institute and they were
waiting for a heart. They had me on the heart transplant list
emergency, but no heart came in. And I got a call about 8 o’clock
in the morning that they may have found a heart for me. 8
o’clock that night I was sitting in the OR and filling out
paperwork. At midnight they had had me opened up in the OR. They
had taken my defibrillator out, and they’d taken my LVAD out.
They had me all prepped and ready to go. The heart came in
at five after 12:00, and at 5 o’clock in the morning I was in
the recovery room. So you got to thank the VA as a whole. That
they just didn’t give up. From the very first day, they tried
to show you they cared first and foremost. But if you work with
them, they’re going to work with you. And every team of doctors
through the VA always worked hand in hand and in unison.
Never once did I see them trying to second-guess each other. And
they worked hand in hand, and they’re like brothers there.
It’s just one of them things that I never gave up on the
doctors. The VA never gave up on me. And I think it was just a
good mix altogether. I plan on going back to work and just
carrying on my life like I did. Hopefully raise two
grandchildren and just–I’m ready to go. I’m ready for
another life.>>TEXT: Don’t miss out on
benefits you may have earned. Visit VA.gov

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