Veteran and family plead for hospitals to treat his stage 4 cancer

Courtesy of Tabitha Barron
Courtesy of Tabitha Barron(KALB)
Published: Apr. 10, 2020 at 7:18 PM CDT
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64-year-old Byron Walters has been to Vietnam and back, serving his country in the United States Army.

He's currently battling the COVID-19 pandemic with the rest of Louisiana on top of stage 4 cancer.

"I have prostate cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer and liver cancer," said Walters as he explained that he's due for his fourth round of chemotherapy.

The VA Hospital in Houston, Texas has been treating him since he found out about his cancer and that's where he was scheduled to travel for his next appointment this month. He's been told that his treatments should be done no more than 3 weeks apart.

Walters and his daughter, Tabitha Barron, recently found out that the hospital canceled his upcoming appointment due to COVID-19 screening checkpoints at the Texas-Louisiana border. Tabitha called the hospital almost two weeks ago to get some paperwork sent over that she was told would allow them to enter the state of Texas due to her father's scheduled appointment, but that phone call didn't go as planned.

"I was informed that my father had no scheduled appointment. Even all of the CT scans, his chemo, everything had been canceled, but no one had contacted us," said Barron who's been trying to contact the VA Hospital in Shreveport to see if her father's treatments could be moved to that location.

Tabitha says she hasn't received a response from the Shreveport hospital, even after multiple attempts. She's called hospitals all around the state looking for answers and has even contacted government officials as she fears they're running out of time.

"We could possibly be looking know six to eight weeks past his chemo time, which is not...that's not acceptable. And we're faced with what he's faced with right now," she says.

The family hopes that publically sharing what they're going through right now will help them get some answers and help other veterans around the nation who may be in similar situations.

Byron Walters says, "When you're turned away from cancer treatment...that's not like you know... you need to be kicked out because you can get that arm bandaged. It makes a veteran wish they never went in the service."

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