Family vows to fight for changes at Atlanta VA hospital - CBS46 News

Family vows to fight for changes at Atlanta VA hospital

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A metro Atlanta woman said her father died Monday night because of the care he received at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

The family of Joseph Carnegie, 82, said he was released from the Atlanta VA after receiving the wrong antibiotic to treat pneumonia last month. They said it was one of many serious problems they encountered as Carnegie was treated in the VA system.

"The wrong medications, negligence, tourniquets left on his arm for long hours at a time," said daughter Natalie Carnegie, whose father served in the Korean War. "You know, it's abuse."

Natalie Carnegie and her husband, Michael Coleman, said they are not surprised by the scandal that has rocked the VA system across the country. An investigation found up to 40 patients at the Phoenix VA hospital may have died waiting for care. 

"I'm calling on the families that have been hurt by this system," said Coleman. "I'm calling on the veterans who feel hopeless and feel like they don't have a voice, for us to come together collectively come together and sound our voice to stop this."

The Atlanta VA said it is committed to delivering high-quality care that veterans have earned and deserve. The medical center said it will increase the number of patient appointments available, hire new staff and build more outpatient clinics.

"That's a Band-Aid," said Coleman, when told about the changes the hospital planned. "That's a Band-Aid on a gaping wound that has festered."

The couple said while Joseph Carnegie has died, they will continue to push for improvements at the VA hospital.

"In my opinion, he gave his life to transform the VA," said Natalie Carnegie, as she planned funeral arrangements for her father.

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