As we reported earlier, Veteran Eric Bivins committed suicide after being unable to find the support and care he needed from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“the VA”).
Found below are a moving – AND MOST SAD – series of videos by Kimi Bivins, Eric’s spouse which describes her experiences with the VA in attempting to find the proper care for her husband.
Kimi’s experiences with the VA are not dissimilar from my own and countless of others who have sought care from the VA. I agree with Kimi that it is a “national disgrace,” yet the VA continues to remain largely unaccountable for their callousness and disdain in treating our brave warriors.
I would encourage readers to watch these powerful videos to understand the frustration and agony of a loved-one in dealing with the VA.
Kimi’s YouTube videos are presented in a more or less chronological order, with limited commentary by me other than to clarify certain expressions.
Published on March 23, 2016. Kimi’s Initial PRIVATE Appeal for Help.
Published on March 10, 2016. Kimi’s Frustration on Getting VA Paperwork
Published on March 18, 2016. Eric in a VA Facility
Published on March 23, 2016. Eric is Coping, but Life is Still Very Difficult
Published on April 13, 2016. Eric at Independent Treatment Facility.
Published on May 15, 2016. Eric is Better, But Seeks Therapy Outside the VA
Published July 11, 2017. After Eric’s Suicide
While many will be shocked by these series of videos, it is far too commonplace within the VA.
Before Eric’s suicide he had been accepted into a program to receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT. I credit HBOT with saving my life and enabling me to begin the long road to recover my life.
It is sad that some uninformed doctor at the VA would shatter Eric’s dream of life-changing therapy by parroting the VA’s institutional bias against HBOT.
Dr. David Cifu and his cronies at the VA and the DoD have done their upmost to discredit HBOT and other alternative therapies to support the failed VA programs of Cognitive Process Therapy (“CPT”) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (“PE”).
Failed VA therapy programs to treat PTSD have been documented numerous times by credible independent studies. And yet, VA spokespeople still parrot the same stale party line. Veterans with PTSD and TBI are not deceived and have abandoned the VA in droves.
It sickens me to watch these tragic videos of Kimi documenting her fruitless attempt to navigate the uncaring bureaucracy of the VA. In my estimation, Kimi’s videos should be mandatory training for all employees at the VA.
While the VA provides much needed comfort to thousands of Veterans, those Veterans with PTSD and TBI need to look elsewhere for REAL therapy.