CAPE CORAL, Fla. - The family of a Cape Coral soldier wounded in Afghanistan says they are determined to get national attention on what they call deplorable conditions at a Tampa VA hospital.
Private First Class Corey Kent was at James A Haley VA Hospital in Tampa until Wednesday when he was transferred back to Washington DC.
Kent left Wednesday morning after his family says he suffered a medical setback because of sub-par conditions at the VA hospital in Tampa.
"I would say he's setback for a month. At least. He was not letting the doctors touch him because he was scared," Dan Ashby, Corey's step-dad told WINK News.
20 year-old Cape Coral soldier Corey Kent lost his legs and some finger while fighting in Afghanistan.
He was hospitalized at Walter Reed in DC for months. His family was relieved when he was brought him to James A Haley VA Hospital in Tampa because it was closer to home. But their relief quickly changed.
"Things went down hill from the first day," Ashby said.
He says parts of the hospital were in deplorable conditions.
"We're not used to that. Disbelief would be the best word to put it," Ashby said.
To back up his claims, Ashby sent us pictures of the hospital and Corey's room.
There are holes in the walls, dirt and mold on the floors, and paint peeling from fixtures in the rooms. We showed the pictures to Senator Bill Nelson, who was outraged.
"This is ridiculous. I am happy you showed me these photographs. I will bring this up with the VA immediately. Because this kind of conditions can't be allowed to exist," Sen. Nelson told WINK News.
Ashby agrees. He is determined to make changes at the hospital in Tampa, so other people won't experience the hardships Corey went through.
"It's not just about Corey. It's about all men and women. Anybody who served in the armed forces deserves better," he said.
Now back at Walter Reed Medical Center in DC, the Kent family hopes Corey will start getting better. Ashby says when he visits DC, he's going to reach out to as many politicians, people, anyone who will listen and help get changes made at VA hospitals.
"There's going to have be heavy hitters that get involved, I believe before anything happens," Ashby said.
WINK News talked with a spokesperson at the James A Haley Hospital. She says they are aware the building is dated, but are currently making mult-million dollar renovations.