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Voice of the Consumer: Vet's eyesight restored after being denied surgery at last minute

By: Katie Pelton KKTV 11 News
February 25, 2018 Updated: February 26, 2018 at 6:26 am
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A veteran can see clearly now after our 11 Call for Action team got involved when he was denied eye surgery hours before it was scheduled. Danny Webster reached out to our volunteers when the Department of Veterans Affairs denied his surgery at the last minute. You may have seen this story on KKTV 11 News. It was a simple, quick surgery that would fix his eyesight.

Webster had cataract surgery last summer through a private doctor, which was approved by the Choice program. "Last July, through the Choice program with the VA, I had cataracts removed from my eyes," he said. "Everything went fine for a couple months and then I noticed that my vision was getting blurry so I went back to Skyline and they told me that sometimes after cataract surgery scar tissue forms around the incisions that the laser made."

The doctor set up another appointment to have the scar tissue removed. The surgery was scheduled for Jan. 31, but that date came and went. "Everything was set up, I got the paperwork and 17 hours before my surgery was set to take place, Skyline called me up and told me that the VA had canceled my surgery," Webster said. So he called the Choice program. "I asked her why my surgery was canceled and she says, 'Because there's an ophthalmologist at the VA.' "

However, Webster doesn't get his eye care done at the VA. Instead he goes to a private doctor, which the VA approved. 11 Call for Action obtained the authorization form which states Webster can have work done through April at the private doctor. I reached out to the VA and they told me it's just for nonsurgical care, even though the form doesn't specify that.

"I'm blind. I can't see. You are a blur. Everything in this house is a blur," said Webster, who told me he is legally blind without the surgery. "Five months that I've counted to get this appointment for a 20-second surgery and the VA screwed it up within 17 hours. I mean everybody was ready to go."

Webster told me it was a frustrating process because he felt helpless. "I was in the Air Force in civil engineering for 14 years," he said. "I earned this health care. This was not given to me."

After our 11 Call for Action team got involved, the VA agreed to let Webster get the surgery. If you have an issue that you need help with, reach out to our 11 Call for Action team. You can contact our volunteers at 719-457-8211 or submit a complaint on our website kktv.com.

Webster had the 20-second surgery done on Wednesday. I called him to see how everything went and I'm so happy to report that it went well and he can see again.

In fact, he answered the phone and happily said, "I can see clearly now!"

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