Maggots Crawling in Wound: Four Quit as Veteran Dies at Talihina VA Hospital

The Oklahoma veterans center in Talihina. (Photo: Public Domain)

The Oklahoma veterans center in Talihina. (Photo: Public Domain)

December 5, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

Four employees of the Oklahoma VA Hospital have quit their jobs after live maggots were discovered in the wound of a veteran being treated there.

The veteran, 73-year-old Owen Reese Peterson, came into the hospital with an infection and the cause of death, according to Executive Director Myles Deering, was not due to the parasite infestation.

“He did not succumb as a result of the parasites,” said Deering. Tulsa World Reported that sepsis, a complication from infection that is life-threatening, is the cause of Peterson’s death.

It is reported that Peterson’s son, Raymie Parker, pled with the hospital to do something for his father.

“During the 21 days I was there … I pled with the medical staff, the senior medical staff, to increase his meds so his bandages could be changed. I was met with a stonewall for much of that time.”

Those resigning their posts include the director of nursing, a physician’s assistant and three nurses. They chose to resign before any of them could be fired for their incompetence.

Spokesman Shane Faulkner stated that the Oklahoma State Department of Health was notified along with the district attorney for Latimer and LaFlore counties. It is yet to be known if charges will be filed.

The Deering VA is almost 100 years old with just as many problems facing it including millions of dollars in repairs and the inability to find and keep staff members, according to Rep. Sen. Frank Simpson.

Simpson stated, “The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs is required to maintain certain staffing levels and currently is unable to meet them. At Talihina, they had to reduce the population of veterans there due to the inability to staff the facility.”

A report on the incident was denied because it is said to contain “identifying information that is prohibited by law from being released,” according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Spokesperson Jamie Dukes said the report indicates “it was determined that the facility fully investigated the incident and took any appropriate actions.”

Peterson, who joined the army in 1969 and served in Vietnam, grew up in Texas and was described by his son as a ‘patriot’ and a ‘country poet.’

May beetle larvae on the ground swarmed by ants. (Photo: Public Domain)

May beetle larvae on the ground swarmed by ants. (Photo: Public Domain)


Written by Lorra B.