Saturday, March 17, 2007

Perspective: VA's thorough care a shock to soldier

Brett Miller gets a cool down after a pool workout at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit

When Sgt. Brett Miller arrived at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, the staff checking him in for an extended inpatient stay asked who had dropped him off.

Miller told them he'd driven himself.

"They said, 'Whoa, you what?' " Miller, 31, recalled.

He was a patient with traumatic brain injury, recently arrived from an Army hospital in Washington state, where he'd been living in the barracks on and off for close to a year -- driving himself around the base despite the fact that he could barely walk or talk, he was blind in one eye, and his balance was so bad he couldn't ride a bike.

The difference between the Army's and the VA's hospitals was shocking, Miller said.

Read the rest at the SF Chronicle