Veteran could be forced out of care facility after records oversight

Veteran could be forced out of care facility after records oversight

A family says their father may soon be forced to leave a facility that provides health and nursing care for veterans.

The Veterans' Victory House in Walterboro says it made an "incorrect eligibility determination."

It was a prayer answered when Claire Gillespie and Katie Hoff's father, Mike Russell, was granted a spot at the Veterans' Victory House.

"I just remember just crying out, out of gratitude to the Lord for all of that being able to happen because prior to that he wasn't at a good place, he was in poor health," Hoff said.

Hoff said since being at the facility he has gained weight, he's thriving and he's happier.

"They have allowed him a sense of dignity again that he kind of lost during the process of his illness," Gillespie said.

Fast forward to now, the family was recently informed that he soon will no longer be able to stay there after calling it his residence for more than a year.

Katie says her father's military service records show her father had active duty training.

"So because it was only for training they said that he no longer was eligible so they missed that when they approved him in the beginning," Hoff said.

One of the requirements for staying at the house is being a veteran who served on active duty.

"He served for the National Guard for six years during the 1960s, he was definitely called to active duty much more than any training exercise," Gillespie said. "He was called during the Charleston riots to help restore order."

The sisters say they would like for their father to be granted permission to stay at the Veterans' Victory House.

"We don't want him to be ripped from the home that he knows and that he is thriving at," Hoff said.

She says her father might have throat cancer for the second time.

"We really do feel that it was not his fault what happened, this mistake, this oversight that was made, we do expect for someone to help make it right," Hoff said.

She says she's reached out to house and senate representatives for help in addition to local VA officials.

The Veterans Victory House provided this statement over the phone:

"As a health care provider I am unable to share personally identifiable information about those who we serve. State veterans' homes provide service to veterans, based on their eligibility through active duty service. A scheduled review of these records identified that the facility made an incorrect eligibility determination. Facility staff always assists residents and families with transitions from state veterans' homes to other locations."

Local VA Hospital officials say they will assist as well.

Hoff is a hospice nurse who works with patients at the home. She says she's heard of the possibility of others who may have to leave. That information has not been confirmed by the home.

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