CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Recently, Army veteran Jennifer Stiltner of Belle, West Virginia suffered from a bad fall, but when she visited the VA Hospital in Huntington, she said they did an x-ray, didn’t find anything wrong and then let her go with an arthroscopic boot.
Her pain worsened, and she knew something was seriously wrong.
She contacted a private doctor for a second opinion and found out her foot was fractured.
She felt like the Veteran’s hospital let her down.
“Nobody listened and nobody cared,” Stiltner remembered the lowest moment in her life.
Cases like Stiltner’s continue to play out across the country, even as medical reform for veterans was enacted two years ago.
President Trump promised veterans like Stiltner that he would fix the VA in what he described as “the most corrupt federal agency.”
Number six of his 10 point reform plan is what Stiltner said actually saved her life: the White House VA hotline, located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia (70 miles away from the White House).
Stiltner called the hotline on a Friday, and by Monday, she got the attention of administrators at the VA hospital. That attention turned out to be lifesaving for her. It led to new medical testing that found leaks in Stiltner’s major arteries. She is now getting treatment.
A representative with the Hershel “Woody” Williams VAMC issued the following response about Stiltner’s case:
“Privacy laws prevent us from commenting on the care of specific patients, but we have reached out to the veteran directly to address her concerns.”
“Had I not called (the hotline), I could not be talking to you right now,” said Stiltner.
Stiltner said every chance she gets, she gives out this number to the White House VA Hotline: 1-855-948-2311
So far, thousands of veterans have called the hotline with is manned 24 hours a day, every day by mostly veteran volunteers like former Air Force veteran Dave Tich.
It’s very rewarding to have an opportunity to play a role in so many veterans’ lives,” said Tich. We can be a conduit. We can be a source of connecting them (veterans) with the right people they need to get the help that they deserve.”
The White House VA Hotline also helps veterans with access to benefits, transportation or problems with housing issues.