Sgt. Brandon Ketchum, an Army combat veteran who served his country in both Iraq and Afghanistan was, according to members of his family, turned away when he sought help at his local Veterans Administration hospital in Eastern Iowa. According to those close to him he suffered from severe combat-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Following his being refused for admission, Sgt. Ketchum committed suicide. Members of Congress, his family and fellow veterans are all pushing for answers.
Holly Hines, firstname.lastname@example.org 5:57 p.m. CDT July 22, 2016
Source: Veteran’s suicide raises concern about Iowa City VA care, Press Citizen
The death of an eastern Iowa veteran is raising concerns about reports that the Iowa City veterans hospital denied him inpatient treatment hours before his suicide, and one Iowa lawmaker is asking officials for answers.
Sgt. Brandon Ketchum, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, died by suicide in the early hours of July 8, at age 33, said his partner, Kristine Nichols. She said that, hours before his death, he sought inpatient treatment for mental health concerns at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System.
Nichols, 33, who lived with Ketchum in Bettendorf, said he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse after serving in the U.S. Marines and the Army National Guard. She said that when he asked for a bed at the hospital, his doctor turned him away with instructions to take his medication.
Nichols said she was closely involved with Ketchum’s treatment. She said he received inpatient treatment in the past, and continued to receive medication and counseling through the VA health care system.
Nichols said Ketchum, after leaving the hospital, texted her about what happened. She said he spent the night in a house he was fixing up in Davenport. About 2 a.m., he posted on Facebook about his frustrations, she said.