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War veteran with pneumonia passes out on hospital floor after being refused bed for not being 'sick enough'

Gail Hobbs claims that her brother Tony Mims slept on the hospital floor after waiting eight hours in order to get treatment at a Tennessee Veterans' Affairs Medical Center
UPDATED MAR 30, 2020
(Source:Getty Images)
(Source:Getty Images)

A woman's shocking photo showing her veteran brother sleeping on the hospital floor after waiting eight hours in order to get treatment at a Tennessee Veterans' Affairs Medical Center has gone viral and sparked public outrage. Gail Hobbs took to Facebook to share the picture of her brother Tony Mims.

"This is my brother Tony Mims laying in the floor at VA Hospital in Murfreesboro. The Dr wasn’t sure if he was sick enough to be admitted to hospital. We waited 8 hours for them to put him in a bed. He can’t even walk. He deserves better treatment, he served his country," she captioned the picture of Tony lying on the hospital floor. Since then, the picture has got more than 100 thousand likes and 200 thousand shares. 

Speaking to Fox News, Gail said that she has been taking care of Tony since April and that she took him to the Murfreesboro VA on August 2. After arriving at the hospital, Tony was asked to give blood and urine samples. According to Gail, even though Tony was feeling very ill, the doctors claimed he was completely fine and asked them to get an MRI scan done. After the MRI, Gail and Tony said they waited in a room which did not have a bed. 

Gail claims that Tony was feeling weak and wanted to rest but they were told that he could not be given a bed because he wasn't getting admitted. Tony was also feeling cold and was given a blanket by a nurse after he asked for it. Tony reportedly put the blanket on the floor in order to lie down but Gail insists that he passed out before he reached the floor.

It is then that Gail took the viral picture and shared it on her Facebook. Gail said that the nurses came to help Tony immediately after they saw him lying on the floor. “The nurses were wonderful,” she told the outlet. The next day, Gail and Tony visited another doctor at the hospital who told them that Tony had pneumonia. When Gail asked him how he made the diagnosis, he replied, “by a simple swab of the nose.” 

Gail added that the other doctor only looked at Tony's blood work, urine sample and MRI. “I don’t blame the VA, the VA has a long way to go to be perfect, like everyone,” Gail said. “But you can’t lump everything together.” Gail is also blaming the doctor who she believes did not give them proper treatment. Gail added that she did not take the picture for publicity but for her brother to get proper care. 

Officials from the local VA, including the Murfreesboro VA director, met with Tony over the weekend. Gail is hoping to have Tony in a nursing home by the end of the week. Meanwhile, the local VA also came out with their statement with regard to the incident and claim that the incidents were different from what was mentioned in the Facebook post.

"As soon as we learned of this photo on Friday night, we immediately reviewed the Veteran’s medical record and have since spoken to the Veteran personally. Our review determined that the facts are much different than what’s presented in the Facebook post," the statement read. 

It further added, "Tony Mims was admitted to VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System August 2, the day the photo was taken. During a ten-minute wait for his provider to return to his exam room, Mims said that his sister, who had accompanied him to his appointment, helped him move to the floor of the exam room because he was tired. Mr. Mims estimated he was on the floor about ten minutes before a provider returned. Mims is now an inpatient in our facility and he is being well taken care of. Our medical center director has visited the patient and has his assurance that he received good care and has no complaints."