Soldier fighting VA for benefits after Army paralyzed her with botched surgery


A retired US Army NCO is suing the VA for medical benefits and compensation after numerous medical errors from military doctors left her confined to a wheelchair and unable to do basic things.

Barbara Ospina is only 29 years of age, but she now requires a caregiver to help her bathe, dress and make meals- a dismal end for a retired Sergeant First Class.

To make matters worse, she pays for these services out of pocket.

Ospina claims that military doctors dislocated her neck and caused her to have a stroke, which left her mobility-challenged and in extreme pain ever since. All in all, it’s a lot for the mother of one to deal with.

“Her story represents the egregious conduct, consistent lack of care and malpractice at the hands of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” said Ospina’s attorney, Natalie Khawam, referencing where her botched 2013 surgery took place.

During her time in the Army, Ospina served in Public Affairs and served in support of the Kentucky-based 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). In 2013, she began experiencing headaches, tingling and numbness and blurred vision.

When she went to Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio to get corrective surgery for a Type One Arnold Chiari malformation (a deformity that pushes the brain into the spinal column), the procedure nearly killed her.

Post-op, Ospina was left blind in one eye, and other serious issues also emerged.

“Her current condition is due to injuries sustained from medical malpractice that occurred by a military neurosurgeon, military nurses, and the overall horrible care she received at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” Khawam said.

According to the Daily Mail, Ospina has since had other malpractice issues under military medical care that caused further problems, including swelling of the brain that required part of her skull to be removed.

Now, she’s just asking for a little help getting the care she needs to carry on- and that may require challenging the 1950 US Supreme Court ruling in Feres v. United States, which bars servicemembers and veterans from suing the US Defense Department over service-connected illnesses.

“This is another example of why the Feres Doctrine needs to be changed,” Khawam told the Military Times. “Our troops and veterans deserve much better, especially after they proudly served our country.”

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