Family: VA hospital discharged 80-year-old veteran overnight without notifying anyone

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 5 at 11:38 PM

HOUSTON -- The family of an 80-year-old Navy veteran believes Houston’s VA hospital put their loved one’s life in serious danger.

Shedrick Morris was transported to the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center on Wednesday night.

Morris was taken there from his home by ambulance after he began experiencing chest pain.

According to relatives, Morris was discharged by the hospital only hours later between 2-3 a.m.

They claim they were not contacted by the hospital even though they say the facility has their contact information.

“I think that’s ridiculous. Who releases an 80-year-old man with memory loss, and he came by ambulance,” said daughter Ellen Pree. “He had no phone, no wallet, no information at all.”

A VA spokesperson told KHOU that Morris was in the waiting room before leaving on his own. The hospital thought that Morris had been picked up for a ride.

“I don’t think anybody should be discharged at that time in the morning, not even a baby. Buses aren’t even running at that time,” said son Tommy Morris.

Tommy Morris said he only found out his father had been discharged after calling the hospital to ask about his dad.

His father, who suffers from short term memory loss, doesn’t recall where he went or where he was picked up by a police officer.

Houston Police haven’t said where Morris was found, but his family says an officer spotted him wandering off of hospital property.

“I’m beyond angry,” said granddaughter Cherry Jefferson. “I was told on his evaluation he was listed as homeless. I don’t know how that happened because he was picked up by an ambulance from his home.”

Morris was returned to his home in northeast Houston by an officer around 7 p.m. Thursday.

His family plans to file a complaint with internal affairs.

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