Army Reserve Officer has heart attack after 15 push-ups, Army denies medical payments

Capt. Shane Morgan (Courtesy Photo)

A US Army Reserve Captain who admitted he wasn’t in good physical health when he conducted a  PT test that resulted in a heart attack is asking the US Army to help him with the hefty bill.

Capt. Shane Morgan is an Information systems management officer assigned to Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group Northeast at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. He suffered a heart attack while conducting a physical fitness test last November, going into cardiac arrest on his 15th push-up.

“It’s literally a miracle he survived,” his wife Jaime said.

However, following a line-of-duty investigation, the Army determined that the PT test was not the cause of the heart attack, thus sticking Morgan with over $30,000 in medical bills.

“I’ve already been sent to collections for a $889 bill, and there are more to come,” he said noting that one of the bills was a $2,000 ambulance bill that he has unsuccessfully submitted to Tricare for a third time.

In his civilian job, he works on classified projects at BAE Systems in New Hampshire. The medical bills that are going into collections are reported to his place of employment, threatening his clearance.

However, the US Army’s Line of Duty (LOD) investigation determined that the heart attack falls into a gray area that they could not rule in favor of.

“Based on what is provided for supporting medical documents, it is clear you had a heart attack, but this type of blockage of the artery does not occur solely during or while performing of the Army Physical Fitness Test,” the LOD determination said. “The mere fact that the soldier was in an ‘authorized status’ does not support a determination of ‘in Line of Duty’ in and of itself.”

While Morgan’s blood work on the day of the event was normal his blood assessment from two months prior was abnormal.

“No, I’m not in good shape, and I wasn’t in good shape,” Morgan said. “But I was in good enough shape to pass the Army PT test.”

In his 12 years split between the Army, Army Reserves and US Coast Guard, the Captain insists he’s never failed a PT test.

While he is aware that his heart attack will likely end his career, Morgan just wants to know the Army will back him up when he gets out.

“I love the Army and I’m probably not going to get to continue it,” he said.

According to the Army Times, if the Army changes their stance and lists it as a LOD injury, Morgan can rest assured that the bills will be paid, rehabilitation can continue and he will get VA benefits.

“It’s time to walk the talk. Take care of your soldiers,” he said. “The Army is telling me they don’t have my back. That’s what it feels like.”

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