ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- A veteran who had a distended stomach was finally able to get a much-needed reparative surgery with the help of CBS46.

For over three years, veteran Michael Phelan walked around with the stomach of a pregnant woman and forced to wear a belly binder to keep his stomach from protruding out.

“I had cancer surgery a couple years ago and what happened is my abdominal wall just let go and my stomach was extremely distended I needed correct of surgery and the VA refused to do that surgery,” Phelan said.

He went back-and-forth with the VA, but each time he was told his surgery could not be scheduled because of issues related to his diabetes.

“After you guys got involved the problem went away in a week. You guys were able to help me out, they called me up and they said they need me in there immediately to schedule the surgery and we had it done in a week” added Phelan.

Phalen is still in the recovery process and his stomach is still a bit swollen but he said it’s all worth it when he looks in the mirror.

“I no longer look like a pregnant female. I’m happier, much happier, you guys did me a major favor and I’m thankful,” said Phalen.

The VA did not give CBS46 a reason for the delay but said they are committed to continuously improving patient care and they work with any veteran who contacts them about a concern to resolved the matter to their satisfaction.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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