Four VA staff members quit after veteran with maggots in wound dies

In this FILE photo a look at a Veterans Clinic in the United States.

TALAHINA, Okla. (AP) — Four staff members have resigned from a southeastern Oklahoma veterans facility rather than face the possibility of getting fired, after a resident was found to have maggots in a wound.

Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs executive director Myles Deering said the maggots were discovered while the patient was alive at the facility in Talahina, about 130 miles southeast of Tulsa. Deering said the maggots were not the cause of his death.

Deering said the veteran came to the center with an infection and died of sepsis, the Tulsa World reported.

The agency said a physician’s assistant and three nurses, including the director of nursing, resigned after an investigation was conducted. Spokesman Shane Faulkner said all four chose to resign before the termination process began.

The incident was reported to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the district attorney for LeFlore and Latimer counties to determine if any charges should be filed.

Raymie Parker identified the late veteran as his father, Owen Reese Peterson. He died Oct. 3 at age 73.

“During the 21 days I was there … I pled with the medical staff, the senior medical staff, to increase his meds so his bandages could be changed,” Parker said. “I was met with a stonewall for much of that time.”

Deering said the agency has been considering moving from the nearly 100-year-old facility, because fixing the existing building would take millions of dollars. Sen. Frank Simpson said the facility was also faced with the inability to find and retain staff.

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