11 Call For Action Investigates: VA cancels surgery for legally blind veteran

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A veteran, fighting to see again.

Danny Webster talks with 11 Call for Action Reporter Katie Pelton.

"Just extremely frustrated and helpless."

Danny Webster was supposed to get eye surgery to fix his eyesight. Without the surgery, he says he's legally blind.

"It would take 20 seconds to fix both eyes, and my vision would return to 20/25," said Webster.

The surgery was to fix scar tissue that formed after a prior cataract surgery. But the VA canceled at the last minute.

"I'm blind. I can't see. You are a blur," Webster told 11 Call For Action Anchor Katie Pelton.

The cataract surgery was done through the Veterans Choice Program and done by a private ophthalmologist in Colorado Springs in July. Last fall, his doctor set up another surgery for Jan. 31 to remove scar tissue that had formed on his eyes. The date came and went.

Webster: "Everything was set up, I got the paperwork, and 17 hours before my surgery was set to take place, Skyline called me up and told me that the VA had canceled my surgery."
Pelton: "How did that make you feel when you got that call hours before the surgery?"
Webster: "Angry."

He called the Choice program through the VA.

"I asked her why my surgery was canceled, and she says because there's an ophthalmologist at the VA," said Webster.

But Webster says he doesn't come to the VA to get his eye care. He goes to a private doctor, which the VA previously approved. And you can see that in his paperwork.

The VA told Pelton it's just for non-surgical care -- even though the paperwork doesn't specifically say that.

"I was in the Air Force in civil engineering for 14 years. ... I earned this health care. That was not given to me," Webster told Pelton.

After our 11 Call For Action team got involved, the VA has now agreed to let him get the surgery after all.

It's scheduled for Wednesday.

This story came to us as a tip from our 11 Call For Action team. You can reach out to our volunteers at 457-8211, or you can submit a complaint online at kktv.com.