Veteran Discharged from Hospital, Left on Porch in the Cold

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OLD FORGE -- A veteran from Lackawanna County was treated for cancer at a VA hospital in New York City. Earlier this month, he was discharged, brought home, and left on his front porch on a chilly night.

Coast Guard Veteran Michael Keslosky says he was wheeled up to his front porch in Old Forge by that transport driver and left there in his hospital pajamas along with his belongings.

A friend captured the event on video.

That cell phone video shows Keslosky arriving at his apartment in Old Forge around 6 p.m. on March 7 after he was sent home by a VA hospital in New York City.

The VA has a contract with Virgo Medical Services in New Jersey. One of its vans brought Keslosky home.

The video shows the driver helping Keslosky into a plastic chair on his front porch.

He expected to be brought inside.

"All he did was dump me on the porch and left," Keslosky said.

A friend of Keslosky's shot the video because he was concerned about Keslosky's treatment in the VA system.

Another friend, Ron Tucker, lives two doors down and can't forget the image of Keslosky, unable to walk, in hospital pajamas, and holding a catheter bag.

The man suffering from stage four prostate cancer was left to sit outside in mid-50 degree temperatures.

"You don't treat anyone like that, especially in Michael's condition," Tucker said.

"No one should be treated like this. No one. Least of all a veteran," said Keslosky.

Newswatch 16 showed the cell phone video to veterans at VFW chapters in Kingston and Plymouth.

"And to be left there, like a dog on a porch," said Clyde Peters of Plymouth.

Peters is a Vietnam veteran who has ridden with Keslosky on transport buses to and from VA hospitals in New York for treatment.

"There's a man whose frail. He's sick," Peters added. "That is frightening. He just left him there, like why?"

"They should have had a coat on him or something. Not to take him home in his pajamas," said Mark Favata of Kingston.

"I'm mad as hell. That's disgusting. Just leave him there, like nothing's going on," Peters said.

"That's like someone doing that to my father," said Favata.

The president of Virgo Medical Services says the video shows Keslosky so sick, that the VA hospital in Brooklyn should not have sent him home. But Tony Agosto tells Newswatch 16 by phone from New Jersey, no passenger before Keslosky ever complained about the driver.

Agosto added, his company's contract with the VA calls for "door-to-door service. Not door to inside the door service."

Agosto also says the driver offered to take Keslosky inside, but walked back to his van when he says Keslosky refused.

Two men with Keslosky thought the driver was just bringing the wheelchair out to the van and was planning to return to Keslosky's apartment to bring him inside. Then they saw the driver open the van's door and start the engine.

Ron Tucker said he went to the driver and asked why he left Keslosky out in the cold.

"He didn't say anything. He clicked me right off. He picked up his cell phone and he started pushing buttons," Tucker explained.

Keslosky never made it inside the house even though he says he asked. His friend called an ambulance and about 20 minutes later, Keslosky was taken to a hospital in Scranton.

"Prisoners are treated better than I was treated, by being dumped on my porch," Keslosky said.

A VA spokeswoman commented on Michael Keslosky's release from the hospital in Brooklyn and his drop off in Old Forge, saying:

"I cannot go into the details because of patient confidentiality. In this situation, we feel comfortable that we did everything in the best interests of the patient."

Keslosky remains in the hospital.

28 comments

  • Diane Peechatka

    ‘”Caught on Camera” makes it sound like someone was doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing. The only thing I saw happening was a friend who stood there recording everything instead of taking the poor man inside his house. So there were two men there when he arrived home but they decided to create a story instead of opening the door and helping the man inside. The driver did nothing wrong.

    • unproud son of a vietnam veteran

      Tom z, what do you mean did I serve? Do you mean serve my country? Yes, i serve my country every year when I pay my fair share of taxes. Did you mean did I serve in the military? Of course I didnt. Why would I want to be a brainwashed government pawn sent in to fight unjustified wars created by politicians and then get thrown to curb by that same government after I returned home? Or worse yet, have to seek treatment at the VA hospitals? That would be foolish of me wouldn’t it Tom?

  • Jack Irvin

    Some cruel people posting here, the story never said that his neighbors did not help him into his house after the driver left. You all just assumed it so that you could have something to troll.

    • Nathan James Matusek

      “Keslosky never made it inside the house even though he says he asked. His friend called an ambulance and about 20 minutes later, Keslosky was taken to a hospital in Scranton.”

  • unproud son of a vietnam veteran

    I don’t feel bad for these elderly Vietnam vets at all. Allow me to give everyone a reality check. My father who unfortunately is still alive, is a nam vet. Hes a piece of garbage. Hes a drunk, has had 4 dui’s, and use to beat my mother on a regular basis when I was a child. When i became of age, i showed him what the beatings felt like from my point of view. He didnt care for that much. These vietnam vets are animals and should be treated as such.

    • Sarah

      Not everyone is the same.

      You clearly need Therapy or you’ll never understand people.

      I’m sorry your dad was a jerk but don’t lump all bets together due to the actions of a few.

  • Big Bob

    Right, someone was there to record all this but not to help him into the house ?????? I smell LAW SUIT !!!!!

  • Lisa Lupold Slusser

    This New Generation makes me SICK!!!!! I so hope if I come back when I die, I come back as someone in the next generation! I’ll show them what being treated worse than a dog is like!!!!!!!

  • happy Easter lol

    What goes around comes around lol. Karma is even for all the babies he killed. You pathetic people in NEPA. Why didn’t his neighbor’s help him, in$tead of video recording the situation? Was there anyone in the house? Was the door bell rung? Like always more to the story. In nepa

  • duh!

    Hey people, this is door to door service. Drivers can’t go into homes due to theft etc. This man should of had a caretaker or a relative there to let him in. Or better yet, how about the guy filming all this with his camera? Why did he leave him sitting on the porch? Am I the only one smart enough to see this?

  • Charlie Brown

    Hmmm, so one friend (cohort) just happens to record the triumphant return home while another friend (cohort) just happens to watch the whole thing and confront the driver. But the friends (cohorts) don’t simply help the man into his home. Hmmm….

  • Mary Capone

    Something needs to be done about this….it’s a complete disgrace. Definitely should go nationwide. NO ONE should be treated this way.

    • Kline

      The “victim” is a longtime scammer and frivolous lawsuit enthusiast. Do a quick Google search on him.

  • Maryann Detrick

    OK mistakes have been made now is the time to rectify the situation first he is human I have known Mike for a long time he always puts others first he saved my life when I was 13 and I am sure there are others he has helped perhaps its time others came forward to show their thanks I wish their was a way we could all get together to show him we care after all he has been put through

    • RJ

      He was. He was seen at the wilkes barre vamc the transferred to NY as it’s a bigger hospital and has the treatments needed for cancer which WB VAMC does not have

  • RJ

    1st. The driver didn’t do anything wrong. Actually he isn’t allowed to help him out of his wheel chair. Only a qualified caregiver (ie. Ambulance/EMT/Nurse), can assist him like that. The driver is just that, a driver. 2.- This guy is WELL KNOWN for making up stories to try and get a law suit. He just lost one against his local police department over a job. 3.- Why was the neighbor more worried about “recording” this, then helping him inside if it was that cold??

    • Stephen Mathis, CWO4, USCG-Retired

      Hey, RJ – you should check your facts before going public with false accusations. Officer Keslosky has actually never gone to court in his case against the prejudicial and illegal termination by the Old Forge Borough Police Dept. It took several years just to get a federal judge to give the government’s permission to go forward. While the case was scheduled, it has been postponed indefinitely until Michael is physically capable of going. So, your contention that he has “He just lost one against his local police department over a job” is entirely false as is your other accusation that he is “WELL KNOWN” for frivolous lawsuits. You are speaking like the person described in Proverbs 12:15-16 “The way of a fool (that would be you, RJ) is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. A fool (again – look in the mirror) is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor.” Michael Keslosky is one of the godliest men I have ever met and is consistently faithful to God. He truly has been abused by Old Forge corruption, and most recently, the VA.

      • RJ

        Really? That’s funny. I know him personally and even deal with him IN and out of the VA. He has not been “abused” by the VA. Weither it be Wilkes Barre or the 2 in NY( which he has 3 different laws suits against all three). And yes he most certainly has been to court cases over the old forge case. For christmas sakes you can Google it, it will bring up the whole entire thing and show you how many have been dismissed. He tried suing for 10 different counts and atleast 75% of them have been dismissed. So before you go trying to tell people they look like a fool…. you might want to look stuff up. You never know, you could be this said “fool”

      • RJ

        Oh and P.S “sir”… I am a COMBAT DISABLED VET who works for the va, and side work for bar/club so I know his story and how he is

  • Nathan James Matusek

    Im confused why his friend recording didn’t help him inside. The ambulance driver was wrong but there was someone watching and recording that didn’t help him either. Instead he called an ambulance and the gentleman sat outside longer in the cold. Did I miss something?

Comments are closed.