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Update: Department of Veterans Affairs Releases Statement on Vet's Experience as a Patient


The Department of Veterans Affairs released a statement Saturday regarding the experience of Lupe Martin.

Martin has been working to get relief from knee pain. 

Here is the statement:

"Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System regrets any difficulty our Veterans have in receiving care, and in any miscommunications between a provider and a Veteran patient.

CAVHS reached out to the Veteran in the story to provide her a second opinion and quick action on her immediate needs.  We are proud of her service and her willingness to speak out so that processes, treatment plans and timeliness can be improved for all of our Veterans."


Original Story:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Frustration is boiling over for one Little Rock veteran as she tries to get relief for something as simple as knee pain. 

"I had to do this my own self," Lupe Martin said bringing out a stack of documents. 

Pounds of papers arrived at Martin's home filled with her requested medical documents from the VA Hospital in Little Rock. 

It joins other piles of notes she's kept since August when she says she tried to get a knee brace. 

"I just want relief," she said. 

Standing at just 4'11, she's been described as a pitbull with a skirt on. 

Martin joined the US Navy when she was 17 and served in the Gulf War. 

She received reconstructive knee surgery from damage sustained during active duty. 

"I'm a veteran. I served honorably. The only thing I'm asking them to do is to give me some relief for this service connected disability," she said. 

But instead she describes getting the runaround at the VA Hospital.

She had an appointment with her primary care physician who recommended the brace, but it required a specialist's approval. 

But that appointment wouldn't be until almost November. Leaving her in extreme pain for months. 

"Which is now shooting from my knee, up into my hip."

As she experiences little progress after  a lot of phone calls, she's working to get care for herself and others in a similar situation. 

"I'm hoping that this will bring light so that the older veterans can get the care that they need," Martin said. 

Knowing her voice could be one that brings change. 

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