Veteran sought VA hospital treatment days before death

KANSAS CITY, Mo - Patricia Sims struggles with the loss of her son Issac, shot when he pointed an assault rifle at police on Sunday.

“I can't believe I don't have my son, I miss him more than anything, I miss his noise,” she said.

The 26-year-old served in the U.S. Army for six years and what he witnessed during the two combat tours in Iraq left him with invisible wounds.

“An IED had exploded, he had body parts in front of him, he picked up all the body parts that stays with you,” Patricia said.

Army psychiatrists diagnosed Sims with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"He's been messed up since he left Iraq," his mother said. 

Sims' behavior changed when he returned home last April. His mother said Sims would drive in the family's Humvee pretending Kansas City streets were Iraq's rugged terrain. According to his mother, at times, the veteran resorted to inhaling aerosols to escape reality.

In April, a judge put him on probation for two counts of domestic violence and ordered him to seek treatment for his PTSD.

He did so, but by last Friday, when he asked to be admitted at the Kansas City Veteran Affairs hospital, Sims was told he would have to wait 30 days for a bed.

"We just hope that by his death that the next person will be looked upon a bit closer listened to a little louder and maybe be helped,” his mother said.

Administrators with the Kansas City VA hospital will not talk about this specific case.

This week, Kansas congressman Kevin Yoder echoed that "wait times" are one of his top concerns with veteran affairs hospitals.

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