DENVER (CBS4) – Accusations of botched treatment of a military veteran have drawn the attention of Sen. Michael Bennet, who has asked for an investigation into the vet’s care while at a Colorado VA facility.

Rodger Holmes, a Vietnam veteran, was being treated for hepatitis C at a Grand Junction facility when his condition rapidly deteriorated. His caseworker, Chris Blumenstein, said that Holmes’ liver began failing, he developed dementia and he was so weak he couldn’t walk.

Rodger Holmes (credit: CBS)

Rodger Holmes (credit: CBS)

Holmes is now in hospice care.

“Lots of things went wrong,” Blumenstein said.

Bennet has asked the Office of the Inspector General for an investigation.

As Holmes grew worse, Blumenstein said the VA refused to transfer him or seek treatment from a specialist. He is among those leading a campaign — called Saving Veteran Rodger Holmes — to assist Holmes, draw attention to his case and push for better care of VA facilities.

Blumenstein resigned over what he called botched care and apathy from the VA.

“Who decided that it was good enough to continue to treat him there, in primary care clinics and with nurse practitioners and in the ER, when he could have been fee-serviced right over at St. Mary’s and seen a gastroenterologist that afternoon?” Blumenstein asked.

He said Holmes also contracted a bacterial infection.

Whatever comes of the investigation, Blumenstein said Holmes knows he won’t see its conclusion.

“It’s just not right that it happened to me,” Holmes said in an interview with CBS4 in November.


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