Sunday, March 3, 2013

8 days after release from VA, veteran killed himself and wife

Fireworks, common unsettling event if you have PTSD and has not been treated. Hell, it can be hard even if they have been treated. This set of a chain of events that should prove once and for all, when it comes to suicides tied to military service, too much of the wrong things are being done and not enough of the good stuff is happening.

The veteran in this case tried to kill himself but survived. For 3 days, not weeks, not months, only 3 days, the VA watched over him. What happened in those 3 short days is anyone's guess. Was it all about medications? Observation? Therapy? Whomever decided 3 days was long enough to undo whatever it was that nearly cost this man his life, should have their own head examined.

8 days after the VA discharged him, his wife didn't survive and neither did he.

Family questions whether veteran got the care he needed from the VA hospital
Fayetteville Observer
Mar 03, 2013

The bullet missed, leaving only a flash burn and giving Adams a second lease on life.

Two days later, Nicole Fairfax said, she drove her father to the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he told an emergency room nurse that he was still having suicidal thoughts.

Adams spent three days in the hospital's mental health ward. Eight days after his release, he shot and killed his wife of 38 years, Cathy, and then himself at their Lumberton home.

He was 62; she was 56.

Now, the family questions whether the VA adequately cared for a man once regarded by many as a pillar of his community.

Family members say Adams had been severely depressed for weeks before his death.

Adams' son-in-law, Jason Fairfax, said that earlier July 4, Adams and other family members went to Lumberton High School to watch fireworks. Adams seemed withdrawn, Fairfax said, and he paced around a lot.

Two days later, when Nicole Fairfax drove her father to the VA, he told her about his suicide attempt.

"He said, 'I can't do it anymore. I need help,' " she said. "He just kept shaking me and telling me he loved me."

In the week of Sept. 10, a team from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General went to the Fayetteville VA to evaluate patient care and other hospital operations. The inspection appears to have been unrelated to Adams' death.

According to the team's report, it found that the VA failed to properly follow up with nine of 10 patients whose names appeared on a list of people considered at high risk of suicide.
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