Man dies after VA Medical Center surgery - - Jackson, MS

Man dies after VA Medical Center surgery

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The sudden death of a VA Medical Center staff member following surgery has his family filing a claim with the federal government.  Johnnie Lee was an U.S. Army veteran and worked more than 25 years at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Hospital.

His sudden death is something the family hopes to prevent from ever happening again to some else's loved one.

On April 1st 55 year old Johnnie Lee went in for leg surgery hours later he was found dead in his hospital bed.  

"Somehow the wound didn't stop bleeding and that he wasn't checked on for a while and that's what happened," said the Lee family attorney Rocky Wilkins.

Attorney for the Lee family, Rocky Wilkins, was not speculating on how long Lee was left unattended.  He said there are many medical records to review, but the family worries about the lack of care.  According to Wilkins, Lee's death could have been prevented.

"The VA has to live up to minimal standards and if they don't then they can be held accountable and we're going to ask they be held accountable.  The family just wants to make sure this doesn't happen again," said Wilkins.

George H. Gray, Jr., the Network Director for South Central VA Health Care Network (VISN 16) that oversees the VA Medical Center gave this statement;

"Unfortunately; because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which protects patient privacy and confidentiality, we are not at liberty to address the specific issues you raise.  However, the staff at the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., is dedicated to providing our Veterans with the highest quality health care available anywhere. In fact, a large number of our staff have proudly served in the United States military.

This year, the Jackson VA was surveyed by The Joint Commission and maintained full accreditation status. In 2010, the National Center for Patient Safety recognized our Patient Safety Program with a Silver Cornerstone Award for our efforts to enhance patient safety. In Fourth Quarter FY 2010, the Jackson VA received a perfect score for our Surgical Care Improvement Project. Jackson was one of only three VA medical centers to receive a perfect score and was the only Complexity Group 1 VA hospital to receive a perfect score.

If a Veteran does not receive the level of care he or she needs or requires, the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center takes this situation very seriously. Our entire staff is dedicated to assuring and enhancing the quality of care we provide."


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