KANSAS CITY, Mo - Family of Isaac Sims says the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center turned him away, days later he was killed in a police stand off. Now, on the day of his funeral that same VA is in the middle of a scandal.
Officials with the Kansas City VA Medical Center admitted Thursday it had a secret waiting list.
"She was begging the negotiator please just let me talk to him. Two minutes later she's screaming, and the phone goes dead. And I knew what happened," Elizabeth Summons said.
After an all-day stand off with KCPD, Sims was shot and killed by officers in his home.
"I couldn't get anybody back on the phone," Summons said.
Summons flew in from Dallas to watch her nephew be laid to rest. She says he was suffering from PTSD and needed help.
"This all could've been avoided," she said.
His family said Sims went to the Kansas City VA Medical Center just days before his death and was turned away.
On the same day of his funeral, news breaks of a scandal with the KC VA Medical Center at the center of it.
"The VA frankly, the Veterans Administration should be the best at some things," U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) said.
Senator Blunt said the K.C. VA Medical Center admitted to his office of having a secret list composed of 37 veterans.
In a statement, the K.C. VA medical center said:
"We are systematically reviewing capacity at the medical center and each of our community based clinics in an effort to maximize our ability to provide Veterans medical appointments when, and in the manner they want them."
Sims' aunt doesn't blame the VA, but hopes his death won't be in vain.
"To all of the Isaac's out there suffering, please get help. If the VA hospital can't help you, go to a private hospital, file the papers, make the VA help with it. You deserve the care, you earned it. Get it," Summons said.
Senators reached an agreement Thursday for a bill that would expand veterans' ability to get medical care outside of VA's. This bill would allow vets who experience long waits to use private doctors as providers for government programs.