Air Force veteran Arthur DeAngelis’s five-month wait for a simple wheelchair finally came to an end Friday.
DeAngelis, an 80-year-old vet, had to wait five months for a replacement wheelchair from the Hampton Veterans Affairs medical center, The Virginian-Pilot reports. He waited ever since April 22, when he was fitted for a custom chair.
“I’ve been in it for 10 minutes now,” DeAngelis said. “So far, so good.”
The wait was only supposed to take six to eight weeks, and despite numerous communication attempts with the VA, staff did not return any phone calls.
“I think our biggest beef with the VA is the lack of communication,” Elaine DeAngelis, Arthur’s wife, said.
Since December, DeAngelis has lived at an assisted-living center, owing to the fact that he broke his back in December 2015. His time in the military stems back to the ’50s, when he served for almost four years before earning an honorable discharge in 1961.
After the delay in receiving his wheelchair had dragged on for long enough, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner offered to help intervene and see if he could push the process along.
When The Virginian-Pilot inquired about the delay with the Hampton VA in September, staff said the chair would be shipped out that same week. Instead, all that was delivered was a foam insert.
The Hampton VA said the delay was merely an isolated case and not reflective of any kind of trend.
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