This past weekend, Evita Simone Allen visited the St. Louis VA medical center at Jefferson Barracks to tend to an ailing uncle.
“Vita” spoke exclusively to Jim Hoft of Progressives Today on Monday about the filth, feces, urine and trash she saw piled up in her uncle’s room at the VA.
Here is Vita’s shocking story – along with pictures from her visit:
“As we entered the room, we noticed a foul smell that smelled really bad. As we walked around in the room we noticed food and just a little trash on the floor and we also noticed that the small trash can was full.
“Once we put on gloves to kind of straighten up a little bit, the nurse came in and I asked her how often does housekeeping come in to clean the rooms and take the trash out.
“Now before she came in there, my uncle told us housekeeping had not been in there in at least two days – it could have been more than two days, but at least he was sure it was two days that they had not come in his room at all.
“When I asked the nurse how often they come, (she said) they come every day during the week, but have only two staff during the weekend.
“I said okay, is it okay if I speak with your supervisor (so they) can contact housekeeping to let them know – you know when they come off lunch – they can come over and clean the room while we’re here just so we don’t smell feces smell because it smells like feces and urine and dirty lunch.
“She (the nurse) said she wasn’t sure what to do and she went and got her supervisor. I stepped out in the hallway to make a phone call and she was explaining to (the supervisor) what was going on. He had a frown on his face and his nose was kind of turned up with the attitude that we stopped him from doing whatever he was doing to come and (take care of) the trash.
“So when he got in the room, he asked me how can he help me.
“His first reply was ‘Well, we only have one housekeeper here, he’s on lunch and I’m not going to be able to call him right now. So you’ll just have to wait until he’s done and comes back (to this facility).’
“I noticed a larger trash can that’s kind of behind the door, that’s why we didn’t see it when we first walked in because it is kind of behind the door.
“So as we walk over to the larger trash can and I opened the lid, it’s full to the top. Full of feces, laundry, just dirty items, urine smell. Mind you, his roommate, you know, gets help going to the bathroom. So all of that they just throw in that trash can right there and left it there. And it was so full to the top that you’ll be able to see on the picture that there’s days worth of trash that’s sitting there.
“There’s no way the small trash can and the large one is full of, you know, bad things in less than eight hours. So as I’m explaining this to (the supervisor), his voice gets louder, my voice escalates a little bit because I let him know, ‘Well, cause you’re not able to contact them right now, I just going to go ahead and sit the trash in the hallway. That way, you know, it’s not stinky in here with us.’
“With an attitude, he snatches both trash cans and puts them back. He said ‘No, these are going to stay in here until the housekeeping gets done with the other building.’ At that point the trashcans are back in there with us, and he said ‘If you move these trashcans back in the hallway, I will call the Veteran Affairs police to escort you out of the building.’
“At that point my eyes got a little teary, and I went in and told him ‘Go ahead and call them so they can see how you’re treating these people.’ When I asked him for a housekeeper, there were two things he could have done. Either he could have said ‘Well, they’re on lunch right now, but as soon as they’re available we’ll have them come over here and take care of it. Or he could have just(…) and took the trash. And I don’t know if he felt like because he’s an (in charge) nurse, or he’s a supervisor, that he can’t touch trash, or what’s the situation, but the energy he took to put the trash cans back in the room with us, is the same energy he could have took and just took them away.
“Even if he just set them, you know, in the tool closet until the housekeeping came. So, back to the story, (while) he is doing that he walks out of the room cause I’m assuming he’s going to call the police. So I take the trash cans and I do set them back in the hallway, because we’re not going to sit and smell that. His roommate didn’t even want to smell it.
“His roommate even said you know like, they just need more help here. The food tastes worse than jail food. You know, they just weren’t being treated like they should be treated.
“So then one minute later, and I’m not exaggerating this, one minute later the housekeeping there was there with trash cans. Now mind you, he’s in two buildings far away on lunch. Just five minutes ago that’s what (he) told me. So I don’t know if he took a jet to get to this building, and then was right there with the trash. So I will say he did take the trash away. And so I asked him, What’s going on? How come you all don’t have, you know, enough housekeepers?’
“And he said, ‘Oh no, we have a housekeeper per floor.’
“So they lied to me. Just to keep me (from) talking about the trash, telling me ‘oh no, there’s only one house keeper per building, that he’s in another building right now on lunch.’ That was a complete lie. He might have been on lunch, but he was right down the hall. He even said ‘Ma’am, I’ll come back in and sweep the floor.”
She snapped a photo which is essentially a checklist of items VA medical staff are supposed to do hourly.
Who will fight for the veterans who don’t have family members closely monitoring their care? It sure isn’t the Veterans Administration.
Judging by Allen’s account, these vets seem more like a burden to the bureaucrats than people who deserve the best service and care.
Progressives Today sought comment from the VA on the situation. We will update our story if they respond.
** If you have any information on VA abuse or neglect please contact Progressives Today.