ANTIDEPRESSANTS & PAIN MEDS: Soldier’s Family Claim He is Being Overmedicated

Paragraphs 8 through 10 read:  “About two and a half
weeks ago, Chas was not quite the same on the phone,” says Chip.
He was irritable and confused, and could barely stay
awake
.”

“Then one recent morning staff from Walter Reed had to
bang on Chas’s door just to wake him. Chip says chas is in such a groggy state
now he could not even get on his segway.”

“Chip began to investigate and
discovered doctors changed Chas’s medication, despite chip’s specific orders not
to. He is convinced his son is being prescribed too
many painkillers and anti-depressants.”

http://www.fox2now.com/news/ktvi-walter-reed-chas-shafer-111109,0,55246.story

Illinois Soldier’s Family Worries About His Safety at Walter Reed
Hospital

By Teresa Woodard FOX2now.com

November 11,
2009

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O’FALLON, IL (KTVI-FOX2now.com) – The
family of an O’Fallon, Illinois soldier who lost his leg in Iraq is asking
serious questions about treatment at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington,
DC. There’s been an unexpected setback in Specialist Chas Shaffer’s recovery.
Fourteen months after the incident, his father says he has regressed, and he

blames the medication he‘s being prescribed by army doctors.

Chip Shaffer
marched in the Veterans’ Day Parade in O’Fallon Wednesday afternoon, all the
while wondering how his son was feeling in Washington, D.C.

“It seems
like I keep failing. And as the father of a wounded warrior, I don’t like
failing,” he says.

Shaffer is a veteran and the son of a World War Two
veteran, and the father of a soldier.

“I am trying to protect that third
generation,” says Shaffer.

Chip’s only son, Chas lost his right leg in
Iraq on September 1, 2008. After months of intense physical and emotional
therapy, Chas seemed unstoppable on a visit home in July. He was easily getting
around on a prosthetic leg, and speeding up and down his father’s street on a
segway.

But now, Chip says, there has been a setback.

“About two
and a half weeks ago, Chas was not quite the same on the phone,” says Chip. He

was irritable and confused, and could barely stay awake.

Then one recent
morning staff from Walter Reed had to bang on Chas’s door just to wake him. Chip
says chas is in such a groggy state now he could not even get on his
segway.

Chip began to investigate and discovered doctors changed Chas’s
medication, despite chip’s specific orders not to. He is convinced his son is
being prescribed too many painkillers and anti-depressants.

A long string
of unclassified army emails shows the Shaffers began complaining about possible
overmedication in February. Chas brought it up in what he believed would be a
private and confidential meeting between amputees at Walter Reed and a senator,
but his name was released and his superiors ridiculed him for what they called
an”offhand comment” said because, “he had an audience, and he used
it.”

The emails were followed by face to face contact where Chas was told
to remember the chain of command.

“In essence he was told never tell a
senator, never tell anyone else anything. This is personal opinions did not
count,” says Chip.

The army has now stripped Chip of his power to make
medical decisions on his son’s behalf. He is deeply worried about Chas and all
patients at Walter Reed.

“These kids need a lot of help. If we can’t fix
it, where are we as a country?” he asks. “If they want a fight, I have no
problem taking a fight to ’em.”

The senator Chas met with is Illinois
Sen. Dick Durbin. He was at the same Veterans’ Day Parade in O’Fallon as Chip.

He promises he cares about Chas too.

“We’ve been in touch with Mr.
Shaffer a number of times, and we’re working with him,” he told Fox 2. “He has
legitimate concerns and we’re going to make sure his son receives the best care.
It wasn’t that long ago that there were some really terrible stories coming out
of Walter Reed. I think things are better, but we’ve got to judge this on a case
by case basis and make sure his son is getting the very best treatment he

deserves.”

Chip was glad to hear the senator’s comments.

“I’m
going to place my confidence in Sen. Durbin. However, he fails, he‘s failing all
our military,” he says.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS & PAIN MEDS: Man in Wheelchair Robs Bank: Florida

Paragraph nine reads:  “Reed lost the use of both of his
legs in 1986 from a gunshot wound. One of his legs was amputated just five
months before the robbery. His attorney argued he was
on anti-depressants and pain medication at the time.”

http://www.wftv.com/countybycounty/20813137/detail.html

Wheelchair-Bound Bank Robber Sentenced To Jail

Posted: 12:32 pm EDT September 9, 2009Updated: 1:16 pm EDT September 9,
2009

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The man who robbed a bank in his

wheelchair, and then hid the money in his prosthetic leg, was back in court
Wednesday morning. Christopher Reed entered a guilty plea and will serve time in
jail.

Reed wasn’t given any breaks because of his physical condition. In
fact, Judge John Harris said robbing the bank and threatening to blow it up were
both serious offenses. He ended up following sentencing guidelines and sent Reed
to prison for three years.

Reed, 48, took responsibility for his crimes,
apologizing from his wheelchair.

“I would like to say to the employees
and customers … that I am very, very sorry for my actions that day,” Reed said.

The paraplegic Merritt Island man drove his motorized wheelchair into
Space Coast Credit Union in November 2008. With a black stick and a lighter in
his hand, he told the teller he wanted $40,000 or he was going to blow the bank
up.

Reed’s defense attorney, though, in asking for leniency, said he
never caused any panic.

“Customer actually held the door for Mr. Reed
after Mr. Reed had just robbed the bank,” Reed’s attorney argued.

Reed
was caught not far from the bank. The sheriff’s helicopter was barely in the air
when he was spotted nearby. Deputies found $1,300 stuffed in his prosthetic leg.

Reed lost the use of both of his legs in 1986 from a gunshot wound. One
of his legs was amputated just five months before the robbery. His attorney
argued he was on anti-depressants and pain medication at the time.

The
judge, though, noted he faced 30 year years in prison before the plea agreement.

“These are very serious crimes that you have committed here,” Judge
Harris said.

The judge sentenced him to 34 months in prison and three
years of probation and he isn’t allowed into a Space Coast Credit Union again.
His attorney tried to get a lighter sentence, questioning whether there were
adequate facilities for men in Reed’s condition, but Judge John Harris shot that
notion down right away.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS & PAIN MEDS: Death: Former Woman Soldier: England

Paragraphs two and three read:  “Chanice Ward, 29, died in April after taking a cocktail of painkillers andantidepressants in her Barford caravan, but yesterday greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said he could not be certain she committed suicide.”

“Her father maintains a belief that Miss Ward took her own life because she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder bought on by her years in the army, and has now vowed to continue with the fight for recognition she began before she died.”

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED27%20Aug%202009%2007%3A35%3A01%3A210

Uncertainty over overdose death

Chanice Ward.
REBECCA GOUGH
27 August 2009 07:35

A coroner has ruled that a young woman who was discharged from the army against her will and who died of an overdose earlier this year may not have deliberately taken her own life.

Chanice Ward, 29, died in April after taking a cocktail of painkillers and antidepressants in her Barford caravan, but yesterday greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said he could not be certain she committed suicide.

Her father maintains a belief that Miss Ward took her own life because she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder bought on by her years in the army, and has now vowed to continue with the fight for recognition she began before she died.

The inquest heard how Miss Ward, who was pursuing a case for compensation with the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, had a history of depression and died as a result of a “self-administered overdose”.

Mr Ward, 57, who served 22 years in the army, said: “I know this inquest could not appoint blame but I’m certainly of the opinion that her time in the military and in active service worsened her state of mind. We have a case going on with the MoD and will be continuing her cause.”

For the last five years Miss Ward, of Barford, near Hethersett, had been working at Norwich Union in Surrey Street, Norwich and was a PA in the pensions department.

Since the age of 18 she had served six years in the Royal Medical Corps as a combat medic and ambulance technician, from 1997 to 2003, and won award medals from Bosnia and Kosovo.

She was found dead in the caravan she rented in Barford on April 3, but speaking at her inquest, her family and friends said they were shocked she had taken an overdose.

Her mother, Donna Holder, said her daughter was diagnosed with depression when she was a teenager but had appeared much happier in recent months.

Ms Holder said: “It was a very great shock because she was so well and had so many future plans and so much to look forward to.”

Mr Ward added that he had taken a phone call from his daughter a few weeks before she died, and said: “She said to me ‘I don’t think I’ve got long left to live’, and I said she was being silly but I knew deep down that she knew it.

“In the last six months she appeared tremendously upbeat but there was something underlying. She always appeared on the surface to be putting on a front but you never knew underneath what was going on.”

Her close friend Stanley Woodhouse was with her the weekend before she died and said: “I think I probably spent more time with her in the last few months of her life than anybody did.

“She thought the medication she was on had solved a lot of her problems but, as her father has said, we didn’t really know what was going on deep down. The feeling she gave to me was that she was upbeat about life.”

In an interview with our sister paper the Evening News earlier this year Ms Ward claimed she twice tried to kill herself but that her bosses would not accept she was suffering from an illness.

A MoD spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family of Chanice Ward at this difficult time.

“We take the welfare of all our service personnel and veterans seriously.

“We have made great progress both in the treatment of mental health problems and in reducing the stigma associated with seeking help.

“Treatment for mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress, is also available for veterans through six community-based mental health pilot schemes the MoD has created with the NHS.”

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