Troubleshooter

Veteran's daughter fights for care

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Willett Crissell served 24 years in the military with tours of duty in Korea and Vietnam. But lately, the biggest battle for his daughter has been getting him help from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Glenda Hulbert has been Crissell's primary caretaker since he suffered a stroke and fought cancer in the 90s. He lives with her, and as his health continues to deteriorate, she asked the VA for a handicap accessible shower and some in-home help a few hours a week.

"Someone to help give him a bath and just for someone that could be here a little bit so I could get out," said Hulbert. "They said you have to fill out all this paperwork and have them seen at the VA."

Hulbert filled out all the forms but told ABC11 she heard nothing. She kept calling the VA and, despite repeated calls, got no answers. She said all she was told is the process can take months.

"I haven't asked the VA for nothing all these years. All I was asking for was a little help, and I was fought tooth and nail," said Hulbert.

Frustrated, Hulbert contacted me and I got in touch with a representative of the local US Department of Veterans Affairs office. He got on it right away.

The rep told me the VA could have handled Hulbert's case better and said she did follow the proper steps to get the process started.

Hulbert got an assessment within days and learned she does qualify for a caretaker to help her 12 hours a week.

That's not all.

"They're putting a wheelchair shower stall in and widening the door to do so," she said. "This will give me the relief I need."

Hulbert said the people she's working with now at the VA have been wonderful.

"I really think if I hadn't gotten you involved, or Channel 11, I'd still be fighting," she said.

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