Sen. Nelson Tours Haley VA

Tampa, FL -

Senator Nelson says what he's heard is the care at Haley's polytrauma center is good, but the staff and facility are getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of wounded needing immediate treatment.

NELSON: They've got a facility for traumatic brain injury that is overloaded, does not have the number of rooms and the rooms do not have the bathroom facilities, nor do they have the facilities to make it comfortable for the family members.

Not far from where Nelson toured, Nellie Bagley was sunning herself in the hospital's courtyard. She sat next to a physical therapist helping stretch the limbs of her son, Jose. He suffered massive brain injuries from a hand grenade that exploded in his Humvee during a patrol in the restive Iraqi city of Ramadi.

Bagley says her son has improved 'one hundred percent,' but there was a waiting period to get Jose admitted.

BAGLEY: What we need is more space, because this has built up so big, the causalities have so much more. So we do need a bigger space - and maybe that's where they come from - not because of the lack of service, it's because of the amount of people coming in from the war right now.

Senator Nelson says he'll bring up the need for a new brain trauma center during an upcoming Senate hearing on care for vets. He says it will cost tens of millions of dollars.

4202 East Fowler Avenue, TVB100, Tampa, FL 33620-6902 • © 2009 WUSF. All rights reserved.

Geo Visitors Map