Michael Bombard served for years in the United States Army, but when he needed the Department of Veterans Affairs to serve him, he says they let him down, FOX59 reports.
Former Sergeant Bombard complained about pain in his eye and headaches for some time, but, as the ex-serviceman claims, doctors at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis ignored him.
“This was like somebody was in my head pushing my eye out continuous 24/7,” Bombard told FOX59 of his symptoms.
After Bombard insisted on an examination at the Indiana Eye Institute, he finally underwent an MRI. The scan discovered a very large tumor, and further tests revealed that it was indeed malignant.
Bombard’s doctor believes that the VA is at fault for not detecting the vet’s cancer.
“He said, ‘Mike, they come in three stages: small, medium and large. Yours is in the large state. The VA let it go too long,'” Bombard said.
Bombard returned to the VA, where an oncologist gave him even worse news about his particular cancer.
“There is no treatment for ocular melanoma cancer. There’s no cure,” Bombard said. “I’m in a support group, and some of my friends are dying everyday from this ocular melanoma.”
Since his diagnosis, the ex-serviceman has filed a $750,000 tort claim against the VA for failing to notice his symptoms and diagnose cancer. Having already lost his right eye, Bombard believes that if the doctors had acted sooner, he would have faced a better prognosis.
“Whether it made any difference back then, I wasn’t given that opportunity or chance," Bombard said. "That’s what I’m trying to say they never gave me … I was never given an opportunity to live a little bit longer, if they had done an MRI a little bit sooner and found this and were able to treat it.”
The VA has witnessed similar cases and complaints before. Just earlier this year, a widow in Macon, Georgia, filed a lawsuit against the VA, claiming her husband, who served in the Army for three years, wrongfully died of bladder cancer after the VA delayed treatments and surgeries. The widow also believes that the VA failed to “timely diagnose” her late-husband’s cancer, The Telegraph reports.