TAMPA (FOX 13) - A father is concerned that his wheelchair-bound, veteran son is being neglected at a VA hospital in Tampa.
Cedrick Givens, 27, suffered a tragic motorcycle accident that caused him to be confined to a wheelchair. He has now been at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa for almost eight months.
He first made an appearance on FOX 13 after the VA used him to demonstrate virtual reality technology that benefits quadriplegics. However, Cedrick's father, Freddie believes this same hospital is now neglecting his son.
"I'm more concerned about the mental anguish that he's going through as well as the obvious physical problems. He only has the usage of his right arm, so he can't do anything for himself," said Freddie Givens.
Freddie claims due to neglect, his son is now covered in sores. He said most recently, Cedrick lost toenails and contracted a bacterial infection.
However, these complaints are nothing new.
Freddie said after the hospital failed to look at his son's previous records, they caused severe damage to his throat during a procedure.
"They stuck the tube in him and left it in too long. Now he has irreversible damage. That [tracheostomy] is now permanent," said Freddie.
Desperate for change, Freddie drove more than five hours from his home in Georgia to advocate on his son's behalf.
"I want changes, I want something done. He shouldn't have to go through that and its really deteriorating his motivation," Freddie said.
After speaking with hospital officials Friday, he said he's hopeful his son will finally get the care he deserves. Hospital officials told him they were unaware of the extent of the issues, and they plan to take steps to correct the problem.
However, Freddie said he won't stop fighting until he's able to see a smile return to his son's face.
FOX 13 reached out to the VA hospital to ask questions about Given's complaints, however, the hospital was unable to comment due to privacy laws.