ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Veteran Michael Phelan says for the last three years he’s been living with a medical condition that makes him look like a pregnant woman.
He also says the VA would not perform the necessary surgery to correct the issue, but all that changed when CBS46 got involved.
“It doesn’t make it completely go away but it holds it in quite a bit," said Phelan as he showed CBS46 reporter Bobeth Yates how he wraps an abdominal binder around his stomach.
“For a lack of a better phrase it looks like I’m pregnant. I have to wear an abdominal binder just to keep my stomach in because it’s so distended. It sticks out so much,” Phelan continued.
Phelan says this all started three-and-a half years ago when he was diagnosed with stage one colon cancer.
“I had surgery to remove that cancer, but after the surgery my whole abdominal wall kinda let go and I needed surgery to correct that”.
But Phelan is diabetic and he says the VA refused to schedule the corrective surgery because his blood work showed one of his glucose levels was slightly above normal.
“The VA said my A1C needed to be right at 7 or below 7 to have corrective surgery and my A1C was at 7 at the time, but then they said it needed to be below 7.”
Over and over, Phelan says he went to the VA to check his A1C levels and was told his surgery could not be scheduled despite the fact that other blood tests showed his glucose levels were under control. So CBS46 started looking into the matter and Phelan got a call from the VA to finally schedule his surgery.
“What I couldn’t do in three-and-a half years you folks where able to take care of in less than a week. It’s awesome! I’m so glad you guys are out there to help us out,” added Phelan.
Phelan says his surgery should take place in the next two weeks. We will continue follow up to make sure the VA keep it’s word.