Veteran seeking help finally gets answers

Posted at 11:42 PM, Apr 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-25 12:40:48-04

Vietnam veteran Phillip Askew worried for months that he had cancer. And one day after he shared his story with NewsChannel 3, he finally got some answers.

His appointment with a urologist at the Hampton VA Medical Center confirmed what he had suspected all along about his constant urinary and prostate problems.

"She said I can feel the inflammatory. One side is bigger than the other side. This side is normal, the other side is not," Askew says.

Now the former Marine, exposed to both Agent Orange and tainted water at Campe Lejeune during his time in service, will undergo a prostate biopsy in the middle of May.

It's the earliest the VA could schedule the surgery to find out if the abnormalities are indeed cancer.

"They don't have nothing but one room to take care of people having operations, feet arm, leg, they just have one bed," Askew says.

One surgery suite for the entire Hampton Roads VA patient population.

But Askew says the VA also admitted something else today.

"This is the first time that I am going through all the procedures that normally should have been done," he says.

When Askew's PSA levels spiked back in February, doctors told him there should have been a rectal exam performed, but it never happened.

"She said it should have been done in February, not sure why they were prolonging," he says.

And as for his long wait times for problems like his shoulder...

"They do acknowledge that they are short-handed and doctors and that they over-book and will try to correct it and that's the catch... try," he says.

And this veteran from NewsChannel 3 made that fight just a little bit easier.

"Taking action... you all really do what you say," Askew said. "You all got results. Very grateful and thankful to you."