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The sound of silence: Veteran sues VA for medical malpractice

When his country was at war, he answered loudly and clearly. Today, the 66-year-old Viet Nam veteran can't say a word.

Back in 2015, he went to his local VA to have an outpatient procedure to help cure a phlegm buildup in his throat. Doctors said Botox injections would resolve his throat issue with no permanent side effects. Three years later, he can barely make a sound with his paralyzed vocal chords.

His daughter now speaks for the veteran. She says her father has hired an attorney to sue the VA for medical malpractice

She said that when doctors told her dad about the Botox procedure, "they said it can change your vocals slightly - like the pitch of your voice." She adds that the physicians reassured her father than there would be no permanent effects and that after "90 days the pitch of your voice goes back to normal."

Problems began immediately after he received the injections into his vocal chords. That day he began having troubles breathing – something he had never before experienced.

On a return visit to the hospital, dad and daughter insisted that a patient advocate accompany them to meet with doctors. The advocate asked a physician why the veteran was unable to speak and was after the procedure in constant need of oxygen.

His daughter says she “will never forget” the doctor’s response: “Unfortunately, this sometimes happens with Botox.”

Today, the daughter speaks for her dad, but also for herself, of course. "I really miss hearing my dad's voice,” she said. "The main thing at this point and I'm speaking for both of us, is we don't want this to happen to someone else."

You can discuss doctor and hospital negligence with an attorney experienced in successfully pursuing medical malpractice claims against the Veterans Administration.

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