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Administrative Tort Claim Rejected - I'm Left Cripled



My right leg was amputated below the knee on the day before Thanksgiving in 2005. This was due to a sequence of mistakes made by "Alleged" medical personal at the Palo Alto Veteran's Administration Health Care System. It started in the Podietry Department in early 2004, when I foolishly trusted them to take care of a callus on the right underside of my great toe on my right foot. Instead of removing the callus by reducing the bone under the skin which was obviously pinching the skin patch against the bottom of my shoes, an implicitly entrusted future Doctor of Podiatry, performed a Hallux Rigidus procedure on me without explaining anything to me beforehand. [i do believe that is in and of itself illegal?] This procedure destroys the joint at the base of the great toe. The tendon attached to the top end of the great toe is used to move the foot up and down, so that was detached and reattached at the base of the great toe. A short while later I was walking short distances inside of my house in slippers. At the end of the day I sat down on the end of the bed, took off the slippers, and there was a silver dollar size blister on the ball of my right foot. Three edges of the skin around the blister were detached. [Foolishly] My Wife and I went back to the VA Podiatry Department and an Intern or a Resident [The two full time staff Podiatrists were "supposed to be" supervising the Interns and the Residents...they never showed up in any room I was in at any time!] proceeded to "cut off" the flap of skin...the part with a blood supply still intact..no less! Later we learned that cutting off the skin flap was the wrong thing to do. The open hole in my foot was treated outpatient (?). [Anyone in their right mind would have had me admitted] They fitted me with a rigid boot with a hole cut in the foot insert, designed to avoid having the insert touching the raw bottom of the blister crater. They tried attaching artificial skin [very expensive stuff] over the hole at least 5 times. My foot proceeded to get infected with what they called "Osteo Myelitis", which led to a "Trans Metatarsal Amputation" right behind the edge of the blister crater. I was fitted with a Frankenstein shoe for my right foot. In August of 2005 I went to the ER with an infection at the end of my foot where they amputated. I was admitted and spent three months with picc line IV doses of antibiotics twice a day 24/7. My Wife and I were told that "Hyperbaric" treatment was one of the best ways to heal my foot, but we were unable to arrange this at the Travis Air Force Base. [Of course the VA personnel would not even think of giving us special dispensation to go to a civilian hospital in the area that had a "Hyperbaric" chamber...you get roughly twice the oxygen concentration of the outside air in such a chamber at two atmospheres pressure...I do believe] The antibiotics failed to work. So come November 25. 2005 the decission to do a below the knee amputation was made. Then it was revised in December of 2005. On or about March of 2006, after wearing shrink soxs for several weeks, a prosthetist attempted to fit me with a prosthetic leg. He wound up making 4 sockets...none of which worked. He told me that in his experience it appeared that my leg had been amputated battle field style...quick and dirty...where the plan is ship the amputee back to a regular hospital for "revision" with the Tibia end properly prepared for a prosthetic. I went upstairs to the complaint department and told the whole story. The ship hit the sand and I was contacted by two of the prosthetist's bosses..."We don't want our employees saying things they shouldn't"!..."We think Mr. so and so is poisoning your mind"! In other words our employees are supposed to "Lie by Omission" and to hell with the "Patients best Interest"! "Lie by Omission" to cover our ass and the "Tin God" Doctor's ASSES. I received a third revision on or about May of 2006. I then spent eight months with a bleeding stump which meant you can't take the prosthetic home! I went to the ER, same day clinic, Orthopedics, you name it, week after week. Nobody at the VA facility had a clue! Finally my Wife booked me an appointment with the John Muir Wound Care Center in Walnut Creak, CA. I got up on the table and received a few locals on the end of my stump...and within five minutes the Docter pulled out four stiches left in the end of my stump. We filed a claim for all of our out of pocket costs at John Muir, including a $1,500.00 MRI. It was thrown out because "You were within commuting distance to a nearby VA medical facility"! The eight months of going to the VA facility week after week, with no relief, meant less than nothing! We filed an administrative complaint form 1151 I do believe, and received a letter stating "You recieved good generally accepted medical care" as stated by a DOCTOR ON THE VA'S PAYROLL!!! [insider trading aka Kangaroo Court] They gave me six months to file a suit in the 9th District Court and sue the U. S. Government. I could not find a Lawyer to take my case. I called several Lawyers and left messages and never received a call back.

Question: Is there any chance of reopening this case? Yes, I am diabetic type two...oral meds.

Edited by jbgruver (see edit history)
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It appears you need 4 things to succeed with an 1151 claim against the VA:

1. An IMO/IME with a doc opining the VA left you crippled. You could try the one that removed the stiches or the one who said they did a "battle amputation".

2. A good, experienced NVLSP attorney, or at least one that practices at the CAVC, or, if you are willing to put in the time and research, raise your own level of knowledge sufficient to win.

3. Persistence

4. Patience

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