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October 3rd, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Veteran files suit over frostbitten penis

A 61-year-old Army veteran is suing the U.S. government for $10 million, claiming negligent care resulted in severe frostbite on his penis, leading to its partial amputation.

Michael D. Nash of Louisville, Kentucky, filed suit in federal court Monday.  He is asking for damages for what his lawyer calls "significant mental and emotional distress and trauma as a result of his injuries."

In October 2010, Nash underwent surgery at the VA Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky.  Doctors were removing and replacing a malfunctioning penile implant.  After the surgery, according to court documents, a nurse applied ice packs to Nash's penis to reduce pain and swelling.

The ice packs remained on Nash's penis for 19 straight hours, "in violation of the standard of care," according to the lawsuit.  As a result, Nash's penis was severely frostbitten, which led to gangrene.

According to Nash's attorney, Larry Jones, his client was on heavy pain medicine at the time and unable to question the nurse.  Nash was discharged from the hospital even though he complained of severe pain, Jones said.

Two weeks later, surgeons performed a partial penectomy, removing a significant part of Nash's penis.

"When you take away a man's manhood, it affects him in ways you can't imagine," Jones said.  Nash, who served in the Army in the 1960s,  now needs a catheter and has no sexual function, he said.  Eventually, he will need reconstructive surgery.

Typically, after penile implant surgery, ice would be applied to the groin area only with many layers of gauze in between, said Dr. Bruce Kava, associate professor of clinical urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "This is unusual," he said.

He said it would also be unusual that a patient would be unable to feel the ice's effects.

The Department of Veterans Affairs declined comment, referring questions to the U.S. Attorney's office. The office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CNN.

To read Nash's lawsuit, click here.


soundoff (524 Responses)
  1. Kate

    This is a tragic thing to happen to someone, but like some others, I have never heard of an icepack that lasts for 19 hours. Were they changed out for new ones every hour or so? I can't imagine that was the case – that many hours would have covered parts of all three shifts and someone would have asked some questions along the way. Nurses can be controlling and b**tchy sometimes, but they are not all incompetent. I wonder if there was some other damage prior (and if he needed an implant it is likely to be so) – nerve or muscle problems that led to the eventual unfortunate intervention? I feel badly for the fellow, but it's not "cut and dry" like some others seem to think. Feels better to blame someone, but it may not be accurate.

    October 3, 2012 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Gil Favor

    Why should my tax dollars be paying for any of this, either the penile implant or the other? This is a waste of taxpayer money!! How is this, any of this, related to his service to this country?? Freeloader. I served and I don't expect the governement to care for me, give me, a penile implant.

    October 3, 2012 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. David Crosby

    Once again ..The Human race outdoes itself...Wow..! Does this guy need kids..?

    October 3, 2012 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. lindaluttrell

    After both my knee surgeries, my doctor and his nurse gave me both oral and written instructions as to how to use ice packs. These stated that an ice pack was to be used for 15-20 minutes duration...no sooner than every three to four hours! 19 constant hours of ice packs...no wonder he has frostbite!

    October 3, 2012 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Shon

    Why is the VA covering penile implant surgery? This is like those penis pump medicare commercials. Seriously, the surgery was a waste to begin with, but likely he'll get some money. 10 million, is way overstated, but I'm sure at least 3 mil of that is for the lawyer.

    October 3, 2012 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. pbernasc

    So, his dick does not work .. yet, they manage t make it worse. Give him the $10 millions, problem is he wont' be able to enjoy a single dollar .. without a dick .. what can you do ?

    October 4, 2012 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Blinkers

    It is a shame that veteran care is at times poor and that it will most likely be the template over the current Medicaid and Medicare systems for the United States Mandatory health care system due to take effect in 2014. In short, we will see more of these types of mistakes upon the civilian population and perhaps some rapist / repeat sex offenders or third generation freeloaders on public assistance (e.g., welfare) and able to work will finally enjoy the same treatment military veteran since most in this category seemed to have avoided military service to begin with…with a new experience.

    On the flip side and perhaps not so comical, however, understanding recent events some parody may be found in this situation.

    One in this situation can now claim a female gender and if married to a female can start over as a lesbian feminists!
    If currently married to another male then go all the way with bottom surgery and simply enjoy the heterosexual aspect of past traditional marital bonds from a female perspective.

    One must also see the potential in such situations!

    Lastly, one should consider that if the Department of Veterans Affairs is the template for the remainder of the population in the United States of America, as with other countries having mandatory medical systems, AS WITH THE MILITARY MEDICAL SYSTEM, NO ONE CAN EVER SUE FOR MALPRACTICE OF THIS SORT AFTER 2014 IF PEOPLE DO NOT BEGIN TO GET INVOVLED IN CURRENT HAPPENINGS!

    My penis is in a safe place, is yours?

    October 4, 2012 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Dondi Cook

    I've experienced Both sides of the coin with V.A., And have seen gross incompetence as well as medical brilliance.
    I myself had a brain aneurysm removed using a [then] experimental procedure (Platinum coil Suspension Unit) and went in with less than a 4% chance of survival givin Me (I was after all THE Guinea PIG on a first person basis as it were)). It was located at the junction of my motorcensory/optical nerves and measured 7.5CmX3.5Cm (YES you read right, Centimeters, not milimeters)))...and a .50mm size aneurysm or larger is considered life threatening. Thank You Again Portland Oregon V/A. Hospital, and Oregon Hospital School Staff.

    October 4, 2012 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    The guy went from limp d1ck to no d1ck. Shoulda left well enough alone guy. So our tax dollars will pay for vets to get their penises back in fighting shape, but we don't want to pay for the damage those penises causes in terms of pregnancy? Someone explain the logic of that please.

    October 4, 2012 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mr Pheer

      Are you experiencing emotional trauma over this? Do you need a therapist?

      October 4, 2012 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
    • Ray Quarles

      You're a moron.

      October 4, 2012 at 01:54 | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Yea. His d1ck was already broken and useless, when he went into the tax-funded hospital.

      October 4, 2012 at 07:32 | Report abuse |
    • Souljacker

      Way too many guys are obsessed with their penises. There is absolutely no reason for a SIXTY year old man to be having surgery to restore the function of his penis, and I certainly hope that he doesn't win this law suit and take away funding from vets who have seriously debilitating injuries. I can't imagine how many men have come back from wars with missing limbs and SERIOUS medical problems – and this guy is worried about not being able to use his penis at sixty? Good grief, what a waste of time this is going to be.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:14 | Report abuse |
    • ph

      I love it.
      Our gov't will pay to get this man's penis back in fighting shape.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:48 | Report abuse |
    • Cherries

      Roger, you make a harsh point, but a good one.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
  10. Chuck

    What kind of ice pack remains that cold for 19 hours?

    October 4, 2012 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kara

      THANK YOU. No ice pack remains cold for that long. And also, a man's "manhood" is no more stored in his penis than a woman's "womanhood" is stored in her breasts. Get over it, dude.

      October 4, 2012 at 00:26 | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Get over it? Gotta be a woman that says that. And ignorant one at that.

      October 4, 2012 at 04:40 | Report abuse |
    • Samuel

      Would like to know the ice pack brand. Need it keep me beer cold.

      October 4, 2012 at 06:47 | Report abuse |
    • thedarkelf

      Well maybe they replaced it, I find it hard to believe they left the whole thing unattended for that long anyway. They probably just kept coming in flipping up the blanket relacing the ice pack checking for bleeding and vitals then leaving.

      October 4, 2012 at 07:19 | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      Good question... a 19 hour icepack would be a world beater for long-term cooling.

      October 4, 2012 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      Good point on the effectiveness of the ice pack at the end of 19 hours, but the damage would have been done in the first few hours if it was in fact place directly on the 'damaged organ' rather than with a gauze layer in between. The fact that the dressing wasn't checked for 19 hours is secondary neglect.

      October 4, 2012 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • ssn651

      "If your Ice stays hard longer than 4 hrs. seek medical attention immediately, do not call the newspapers or television stations to brag, just go to the emergency room"

      October 4, 2012 at 10:05 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      It says ice packs, not a single ice pack.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      That was my question. And even if this guy was doped up on pain meds. how hard would it have been to have reached down and taken the ice off his penis? I mean I've been in the hospital seriously doped up, but I've at least questioned the nurse if I thought something strange. Why didn't this guy say "Hey, this ice has been on my dick for 2 hours now, can we take it off?" And I have to seriously agree about with some of the others about hoping he loses this lawsuit. Not just because of his age, or the stupidity of his lawyer saying what he did about he lost a portion of his 'manhood', nor for the fact that he's wasting precious tax-payer dollars that could help other vets with serious injuries...but for the fact that HE could have prevented the frostbite injury himself... by either moving the ice himself or asking a nurse about it.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      The article states that the ice pack was on for 19 hours, but it doesn't say it was COLD the whole time. If it was put directly on his penis, maybe it only took an hour to cause frostbite. Stick an ice pack directly on your "tool", and see how long you can stand it without anesthesia. Then try to read more carefully in the future.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • Balanced Brain

      Since this question keeps coming up over and over again, I will put this upfront: the ice pack didn't last 19 hours – it was replaced again and again without the requisite break time. After about 30 minutes an icepack will render whatever area it covers numb, so that one would be unaware of the cold. That's why drug store icepacks say to use not more than 15 minutes out of every hour. Not to mention, the man was sedated and was unaware of harm being done. In addition, I am incensed that so many apparently think a 60 year old man doesn't need his penis – I am a 69 year old woman married to a 68 year old man and our sex life brings both of us great pleasure and is an important part of our marriage. My parents were sexually active into their 80's. At no point would my dad have voluntarily surrendered his penis – and my guess is, neither would most men. Just because you can't imagine people having sex after sixty doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Penile implants are common for diabetics (and other injuries to that area) and he was replacing one that was no longer functioning. The hospital had an obligation to do it without causing extreme damage through carelessness. He is absolutely right to sue and I hope he gets both reconstruction and pain and suffering damages. Our veterans, indeeed any human being – deserves better care than he got.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
  11. Mark Smith major exercise science physiology University of Akron

    I agree with rdp and hypocrites: The whole story seems like a scam for another frivolous suit against a hospital and staff. I've been in uncountable amounts of street gang rumble and been in the hospital over night on many occasions. After any medical procedure that requires overnight the nurses constantly checked in on me.
    19 hours without a nurse checking in or an ice pack causing frostbite is certainly unbelievable. If something was irratating my lil. man he would complain to my brain and make my hands push it away or roll over to a more comfortable position. Physiologically it is impossible to get a frost bite on that part of the body unless done on purpose. The VA may be different and I have heard from the nurses that I am a better looking patient than most so maybe he was just ugly and couldnt feel his stuff, but still the ice pack wont stay cold that long.

    October 4, 2012 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chieatfetus

      My what flattery upon yourself! WHAT do your looks have to do with any of this?

      October 4, 2012 at 08:55 | Report abuse |
    • bobpitt

      Horrible !! If it happend to me I would be looking for the inept nurse to explain my wife why she won't get some of me anymore.. he should ask for moe than ten million

      October 4, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
    • Rachael

      You do realize that pain medication blocks pain receptors in ALL parts of the body right?

      October 4, 2012 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
  12. Lali

    I wondered how the Ice will stay cold for 19 hrs straight. Ice usually melts and no longer cold in about 1-2 hrs.

    October 4, 2012 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Duh!

      I know you're not THAT stupid! The nurse must've kept coming in to change it. I hope you're joking and you're not too dumb to read between the lines.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:11 | Report abuse |
  13. San

    I go to the VA for treatment and do not believe they let an ice pack stay on anything let alone a penis for that long. They never give you pain pills or anything that is going to last long. He should have know his penis was cold or let him say freezing. This man is trying to get paid for an already limp penis. He should be happy they did something to help him with the erectile dysfuction. This has nothing to do with him being a veteran, there are a lot of veterans that have problems. He just making it hard for the next limp penis guy to get help.

    October 4, 2012 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Nick

    Does it really make a difference how long the ice was on him? Or how it managed NOT to melt in all that time? What guy willingly lets his penis become frostbitten then suffers through a partial amputation like that? Really, I don't know any guy that would make all that up just to win a law suit. Something went wrong here.

    October 4, 2012 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • aniee

      What went wrong is why the VA is doing a Penile Implant in the first place. The taxpayers pay for this? Somebody needs to be doing some serious investigating.

      October 4, 2012 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
  15. harpman

    He's 61. The penis was past the expiration date anyway.

    October 4, 2012 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Timme62

      LMFAO....harpman you've made my day!

      October 4, 2012 at 08:40 | Report abuse |
    • bobpitt

      Provably in your case the expiration would be sooner than 61, in my case i will chasing dolls till I die.. (I plan to die very old)

      October 4, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
    • FiveLIters

      Exactly-no one is looking for 61-year old d__k!
      Sorry,"61-year old,previously broken" d__k!

      October 4, 2012 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
    • ig nor anus

      George Burns said having sex at 90 is like shooting pool with a rope.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • Balanced Brain

      I am well past 60 and was definitely looking for a guy who could "do it". Many people continue to be sexually active their entire lives and I hope to be one of them. I'm pretty certain my husband wouldn't want to give up his penis at any age. I can't believe the amount of iuncaring gnorance that is being displayed here.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:38 | Report abuse |
  16. fekt

    what, he can't sue over the defective implant? this will all come out in court.

    October 4, 2012 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 88Gems

    19 hours of cold? Perhaps if it were dry ice... but then again, it's the VA medical system. Such an error is entirely plausible.

    October 4, 2012 at 02:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Mike

    Those "vets" get way too many benifits for the short amount of time they serve and those who serve during peace like this guy prob did get the same benefits from free schooling to healthcare to housing to even being considered first for jobs... Theres a few reasons people join the military.. Usually it has nothing to do with defending the country, usually its this mind set ...ill take a slim chance at death if i can a. Be considered a hero (ego) b. get a gun and get to shoot people (evil) c. Free benefits like i mentioned earlier (greed) d. They have no job or nothing going for them at home (lazy) very few join for the right reason...if the odds were 50/50 ppl would die if they joined then our army would be the size of puerto ricos army ..lol

    October 4, 2012 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      Obviously you have never served in the military and likely come from a long line of people that enjoy any handout and any freedom you can get but are too cowardly to want to pay for it. Many families like my own have had generation after generation serve in the military. Mine includes almost every male since the revolutionary war. I myself am a disabled Desert Storm vet that went into the military because I do not want everything free, I love my country, and I not going to hide behind others and talk crap. We have buried soldier after soldier around here over the last 11 years. I am at the VA often as I have sores caused by my service in the the gulf that have eaten away my skin over 70% of my body and an injury that has taken one kidney, it has destroyed my liver (and I don't drink), and many of my friends have already died from this as I am now going on 3 solid years of chemo medicines to try to save my life. Military personnel like myself paid into the GI Bill so it is not FREE money. I could not use mine because I was in the hospital constantly and it is only good for a period of time. I lost my investment into it. In the meantime, a veteran protects you and then comes home to being unable to find a job as there aren't many places looking for people that are trained to do many of the things military do (again for you). Veterans top the charts of unemployment, tens of thousands are in prison because of PTSD induced infractions of law such as beating the crap out of someone that craps on them like you do, and tens of thousands end up homeless and lose their families all for people to be able to talk the way you do. Several military personnel, especially over the last 11 years, have served five, eight, ten tours of duty in combat for you so that you can go to work in that highrise behind that cozy desk, driving your foreign made car, smoking pot and complaining while talking like you are a bad ass, all without having to worry about having your butt blown out of that chair you sit on. As I said, I go to the VA and get antiquated and substandard care. If a vet needs a prosthetic, they get a substandard one and must pay for a good one themselves (hence organizations that help fund that). What's worst of all is that you will probably father another worthless tool or two so that my kids can protect their yellow butts as well. I challenge you to visit your closest VA hospital and chat with any of the vets sitting around suffering from their way wounds. Spend a day visiting and seeing it for yourself. If you are central Iowa, come with me. Once you have seen enough, you can let those vets know that they don't know danger and that they don't deserve anything. I have been challenging people like you to come visit the VA with me over and over for 22 years now and not one of you stupid, uncaring cowards have ever taken me up on it.

      October 4, 2012 at 04:36 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      @Tim: THANK YOU for your service. I am sorry that you have had to deal with so many physical ailments, and I hope that you do recover. Keeping you in my prayers. I'm sure nobody who enlists in the military can even imagine how it will be in the field, and yet their courage convinces them to join, many for several tours. Then when they return home, they get s hit on in many ways and have to live with physical and psychological trauma and their effects. YOU, and your brothers and sisters in arms, are heroes to me.
      @Mike: Do your math. If the man is 61, chances are he served during Viet Nam, hardly what one would call a peace time era. By the way, what exactly do you do all day that helps to better this country and ensures our ability to continue to enjoy the freedoms and safety that those in the Middle East don't? Your statements illustrate how small-minded you are, and you obviously haven't met any soldiers or vets. The people I've met who join the military are passionate about freedom and have a great loyalty to our country. And to a person, they have all re-enlisted after their first years were up. Looking to be a hero? I hardly think so, yet they are my heroes anyway. You, on the other hand, are like one of those drunks one sees b itching and moaning at the bar every night about how they would do it all better. My guess is you tried to enlist and were rejected.

      October 4, 2012 at 07:20 | Report abuse |
    • jzaks

      Mike, you need to get back on your medication. Without it you seem to be irrational.

      October 4, 2012 at 08:23 | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Mike, you are a dirt bag POS, for what you said. If you had ever served you would know what you said is dead wrong. The men and women serving our military keep it an all volunteer army and keep cowards like you from having to be made to serve against your will. I served for 10 years and I promise you what you said is not true. Yes the military has some good benefits, but how many people died this year at your workplace? Many die everyday in ours. LOSER!

      October 4, 2012 at 08:30 | Report abuse |
    • LostinSLC

      Wow Mike you are a total idiot. You seriously do not believe our vets, especially those who have fought for our country deserve benefits for life because they only served part of their life in the military? Would you prefer they spend 20 years fighting in a war to earn these benefits? Are you honestly that shallow?
      If you want to understand real sacrifice join the military, even for a short term like 6 years. You get to go to wonderful exotic places where people want to kill you and being able to communicate with your family is gone. When you want to lay down next to your wife or hug your kids you can't because you are sleeping on a cot if you are lucky. Otherwise you are sleeping in the sand and eating who knows what from your daily rations but you continue to serve because it is your duty.
      But for all of that Mike, a soldier should not be given benefits......wow.

      October 4, 2012 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
    • Marine Capt

      Mike, you have obviously never served or met anyone who has. Crawl back into your hole.

      October 4, 2012 at 09:10 | Report abuse |
    • John M

      @ Tim

      "Freedom ain't free" right? Here's another, less self-congratulatory interpretation: the military consists merely of mercenaries hired to accomplishing strategic geo-political objectives which have little to do with normal people. It's not a failure of patriotism to suggest that this is a waste of lives, money, effort.

      October 4, 2012 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • Proud Army Veteran

      Mike, though your post was entirely ill-informed, I often remind myself not to get angry when ignorant Americans like you take advantage of your freedom of speech that we veterans risked our lives to protect. And since I was one who risked my life in Iraq so that idiots like you could exercise free speech, it is only American that I too take advantage of the freedom of speech that many of my fellow comrades died for. So in their honor, I say to you Mike: "Go to hell you lame brain." And you may want to check out the Department of Veteran Affairs website to educate yourself about the benefits veterans do and do not receive–idiot.

      October 4, 2012 at 09:29 | Report abuse |
    • aniee

      .....and you know all this, How?

      October 4, 2012 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • Texas Veteran

      I don't know Mike where you get your info. from but, maybe you should join and go for all these fine benefits the military has for you.
      That way when you fight for the freedoms of people like you who run their faces without any reason you will know how that feeling gets to you. And just maybe you too can go to exotic places and kill the indigenous people who live there and then come back to the states and be called "Baby Killers". Just ask Jane.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:18 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Sounds like you're unemployed and unhappy with your life. I've been in the military for 27 years and love it. Yeah, the benefits are good. But most people consider looking at job aspects and benefits associated with it. Military is a good option for many folks. But like any job, you apply and have to be selected into the military. For every military position, there are 5 people trying to get in now. They provide great training and career paths and you can get civilian licenses and certifications from them without the educational debts. Plus almost every career field in the civilian sector is available in the military from nuclear engineering, forensics, medicine, legal, religion, and aviation. But sorry, I've never shot at anyone in my 27 years, never been in the limelight, and have loved every minute of it. Yes, most of us in military medicine could easily get jobs in the civilian sector, but love what we're doing in the military.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • Airborne TJ

      Mike, let's start with the easy one. Puerto Rico is a territory of the US, thus their "Army" is ours. They do have National Guardsmen however. You are correct, they are small in force, but still bigger than several other states in numbers, think Rhode Island for example. Next it is blatantly obvious you have never served nor are likely to make that choice. There are many reasons to join the military. I just recently retired from the Guard after 24+ years, with 9 of them active. I have been on several deployments, (causing great hardship to my family while overseas), and used to run the Education office in my state for 7 years. In that capacity I would estimate I counseled over 5,000 of my soldiers who wanted to use their benefits. The vast majority, (especially after 9/11), simply wanted to ensure their family, friends and country would remain safe. Now this is just my opinion, but I would love to debate actual facts vs a hypocritical opinion.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • cosmor

      The free health care for life is part of the contract dummy.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • SteveinLVNV

      You are a total moron. If you think everything is free for our service people, why don't you go and enlist? Of course you would be REJECTED because they don't accept the brainless. Even the women who proudly serve in the military have more balls than you could ever dream of...
      You sound like a bitter, hate filled parasite.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:00 | Report abuse |
    • cosmor

      well maybe not in a contract as such. But I was promised heath care for life during VietNam. I guess they dont have to if they dont want

      October 4, 2012 at 11:04 | Report abuse |
    • gf

      Mike – 1960's ... that was during the Vietnam War.

      Tim – I do appreciate the sacrifices you've made. While my wife's family is from a long military background, mine is not. I'm not rich and barely get by, and I don't work in a tower ... actually my wife's family (military background) are all quite well off, never having to worry about finances at all, quite rich – of course they were high officer levels. Since I don't fight in the military, I can take some offense to the comments grouping all of us together who don't. I have lived overseas in Muslim countries, and I choose to change the world working with people, not fighting against them. I know there will always be a need for the military for the many that we'll never be able to work with ... but I'm on the other side that knows that there are just as many that we can work with, and I usually see our occupation of Muslim countries as counterproductive. I know that was no choice of yours though and you dutifully followed the commander's orders, as anyone should once they've signed up. I'm just saying ... each side has its part to play and I hesitate to generalize either side or cast such a negative characterization to them. I understand though, your perspective. You see your hardships ... and the easy time many rich business people have that work in their towers and never fought. From my perspective, I see the easy time many high-up officers have with their high pay, incredible pensions, and never having to worry about bankrupting healthcare costs like I do. I do realize that those who have it worst of all are those who do all the tough work, the day-to-day fighters, those whose main training is killing people, and when they leave the army (probably with physical or mental disabilities), their only skills aren't transferable. So I do sympathize for you and many in your position. It's a tough place to be in that must take a strong will to endure.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • Retired Vet

      @ Mike – You are a clueless POS. Probably kicking back in Mom and Dads house in the basement living off their hard earned money while you do nothing for this country.

      October 4, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
  19. JM

    This is the U.S. government at work, and there still seems to be a question if we want the government to be responsible for our healthcare, and the mere fact that question is being asked, is a sign of a severe problem with our collective common sense. I've already unregistered to vote, and the next step I'm prepared to take is to move to Singapore and take my money, my mind, my skills and my loyalty. The founding fathers would not only understand me, they would absolutely support me.

    October 4, 2012 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      No, they wouldn't. They would expect you to work hard to make it better, utilizing the freedoms they fought the British so hard for. But, hey, why don't you just leave now? Good riddance.

      October 4, 2012 at 07:31 | Report abuse |
    • bobpitt

      Buon Bogage..!!

      October 4, 2012 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
  20. Torgo

    Sorry, no sympathy here. Surgery is not without risks, and when you voluntarily accept those risks for a surgery you don't need, then you don't get any sympathy from me when things go wrong. There's another similar story floating around CNN today. It's about a woman who let someone jam a large needle in her face a bunch of times for purely cosmetic reasons. The injections became infected, and she is permanently deformed now. Well, don't let people put needles in your face, and then this sort of thing won't happen. The same is true here. Don't let people cut your penis open and shove a piece of plastic in there, and then this sort of thing will be a lot less likely.

    October 4, 2012 at 02:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobpitt

      I not the risk of surgery he is complaining about, but the lack of professionalism of the nursing staff.

      October 4, 2012 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
  21. Spock500

    Sheesh! 19 hours of cold compresses and frost bite? Did they apply dry ice, or what?

    October 4, 2012 at 03:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. C.Ray

    Most all of you men would do something to get a malfunctioning penis fixed. That's understandable. Ice packs don't stay cold 19 hours unless they are replaced. He was under heavy medication, so it's possible he wasn't aware of the change(s). The nurse needs to give her story.

    October 4, 2012 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MOCaseA

      Conversely, what nurse works the rounds or 19 hours straight?

      No, the records of the rounds need to be provided; but not to a bunch of random people on the internet. This will work itself out in court. The guy won't get d*ck (sorry for the pun), and it will be discovered that after the discharge he followed the medical providers instruction to keep the surgery area iced (I had a similar, though not for ED, surgery recently). HE is probably responsible for the over icing (I know I was sitting on frozen peas for about 2-3 hours at a time) and in the end it will come down to self negligence, at which point the courts will allow him to sue himself.

      October 4, 2012 at 05:13 | Report abuse |
  23. George

    Looking for free wealth. Ice does not stay cold for 19 hours unless its in a freezer. I hope he gets nothing. Why is the VA giving him an implant? He was in the military in the 60's so I would not cover that type of surgery. I'm a vet, maybe I can get plastic sergery on the tax payers dime.

    October 4, 2012 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobpitt

      You wrote "I'm a vet, maybe I can get plastic surgery on the tax payers dime." If you are as ugly as sin may be that would be consider a danger to society and get it cover under Local disaster areas funding..

      October 4, 2012 at 09:31 | Report abuse |
  24. Vooj

    What does being a vet have to do with poor practices in a hospital? If he was not a vet would his body have been able to cope with the ice packs? Do veterans have different ice pack rights than the rest of the population?

    October 4, 2012 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MOCaseA

      Obviously if the one thy used lasted 19 hours...

      October 4, 2012 at 05:15 | Report abuse |
    • Balanced Brain

      It didn't "last" nineteen hours – it was replaced over and over without the requisite amount of time in between. Your ignorance is showing so I'd be careful about continuing to comment unless you want to let everyone know.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
  25. jim111506

    My erect pee pee could melt an iceberg.

    October 4, 2012 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobpitt

      May be a very small iceberg..

      October 4, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse |
    • aniee

      Obviously you are fixated on your body part. Do everyone a favor and keep it to yourself. You sound too wierd. I would be afraid to have you in my neighborhood.

      October 4, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • Pliny

      Only if the iceberg was formed in one of those blue-plastic-ice-cube-sheets that product the 1/2 inch square ice cubes.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
  26. tibbar

    I think secretly , he wants gender reconstruction surgery.

    October 4, 2012 at 06:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Richard

    This underscores the poor care that our veterans often receive from the VA. Of course, where is the motivation for the VA to care about its patients? It's not like their patients pay anything for the care they receive – and, the hospital staff gets paid the same whether they live or die.

    If you want quality care, be prepared to pay for it yourself, and seek it from those who are motivated by money.

    October 4, 2012 at 06:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. unowhoitsme

    Medical errors are the number one killer in the US. I hope this guy wins...the errors have got to stop.

    October 4, 2012 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim d

      negative, ghost rider. medical errors are "NOT" the #1 killer. it's heart and blood vessel disease. next silly comment, please!!

      October 4, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
  29. Grey

    Yike's... but 10 million for a 61 year old member... I don't think so. It was already malfunctioning...

    October 4, 2012 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FiveLIters

      One word: "inflation".

      (see what I did there?)

      October 4, 2012 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
  30. thedarkelf

    This man deserves every penny if they caused his penis to have to be cut off they should pay all of it tax free

    October 4, 2012 at 07:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. babooph

    "I don know but I bin tol ,Eskimo....."

    October 4, 2012 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. SPW

    These comments are ridiculous.

    October 4, 2012 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Carlos

    To the person that asked: what nurse works 19 hours straight? Well, I work 16 hour and 24 hours shifts taking care of patients. Many health professionals work long hours to care for patients. You don't know what you are talking about. And sometimes communications between shifts are misinterpreted or lost or forgotten. I deal with terminal patients and it seems at times all that you are doing for them is in vain. This particular man lost 5 inches of his penis. Something severe happened to him. The hospital cannot deny that. He didn't make that up. And I'm sure that he didn't intentionally do anything that would cause him to loose 5 inches.

    October 4, 2012 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Randy

    Doesn't really surprise me. Ever been to a VA hospital? and people want our government to take over their health care.

    October 4, 2012 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Askmehow

    Penis

    October 4, 2012 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Askmehow

      I can use the word penis. Moder ators gotta love it.

      October 4, 2012 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
  36. LaMusica

    How did the ice packs stay cold for 19 hours?
    Unless someone was actively coming in and changing/replacing them, something seems fishy here.

    October 4, 2012 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Balanced Brain

      Yes, dear. Someone was coming in and changing them and not allowing the requisite break time between packs. Anyway, after about 20 minutes, the area is numb so you would not be feeling any discomfort, especially if you are on pain meds too. This was totally the hospital's fault.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
  37. Darlene Buckingham

    It would be a good thing if more vets shared their stories of what happened to them in the wars. It is clear that both the American soldiers and those they are fighting are pawns in the game of global oppression and control. Until soldiers admit they are being used and abused these terrible wars will continue. It is difficult to admit that you have been used but it is better than defending the abuser who don't care one bit for the people they send to war or for the people who are killed by war. They think these people are fools while the ones who have started the war take all the spoils of war. This is one sick planet at the moment. Time to heal and time to live in peace.

    October 4, 2012 at 08:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Bill Reed

    What's the big deal? The damn thing wasn't working anyway. This clown is 61 years old and already had a mechanical pump to give himself a woody. He obviously wore it out, probably by himself. Give it up dude. Your're old and don't need it anymore.

    October 4, 2012 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobpitt

      Could you explain to the rest of us “”how do you know it wasn’t working?”” hummmmm!!!!!

      October 4, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
    • Balanced Brain

      At what age would you be willing to give up your penis? I know my husband and I are still enjoying our sex life at age 68 and 69. My parents enjoyed theirs well into their 80's. People, veterans, human beings, deserve better care than this!

      October 4, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
  39. chieatfetus

    NOT SURPRISED!! the care at a VA hospital is not that great for as much as these veterans have done for this country...there needs to be some changes done from within but no one wants to listen (you don't get a response).

    October 4, 2012 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Would he qualify for a transplant?

    October 4, 2012 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobpitt

      I can’t imagine this guy talking about a transplant…”” aw..!!! doctor can I choose my own donor?””” I want that one… yes that one.!! the big long fat black one..!!

      October 4, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
  41. Lee

    Give the man his money!

    October 4, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. teremist

    One of the main causes of erectile dysfunction is inadequate blood circulation. A consequence of either coronary artery or vascular disease, often exacerbated by a secondary condition such as diabetes. That is important to know, to understand what MIGHT have happened. Extreme cold, causes blood vessels to shrink, reducing blood flow further. Deprived of blood, and therefore oxygen and nutrition, cells quickly begin to die. This is when tissue death leads to gangrene and "frostbite." This process could begin in under an hour, under the right conditions. A person who was sedated might easily not be aware that anything was wrong, or they might attribute the pain to normal post surgical pain. In two hours, the damage could be significant. A good ice pack will maintain cold for that long. Once the damage is done, it is too late, dead tissue must be removed. I don't think the damage occurred over 19 hours, but rather in the first two or three. If no one checked on the patient's surgery site for 19 hours, then they are guilty of neglect. If a nurse forgot to remove the ice pack in a timely fashion, that too is neglect.

    October 4, 2012 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jokesterer

    Never tell Jack Frost to "bite me."

    October 4, 2012 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Sayoeun Nov

    the same thing happened to me! Since then, I have had an operation and now I am a girl

    October 4, 2012 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Shmeckell

    That's horrible, I hope they let him file for an extension.

    October 4, 2012 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Dan

    Who would leave it on that long? It is his own fault.

    October 4, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. s

    huh... 19 hours and the ice pack stayed cold enough to cause frostbite. that doesn't seem possible. my question is why he needed an implant in the first place? as far as i'm aware, the ONLY reason to get one is ED. i am sure that it's not fun to not be able to...perform... but, i mean, you're stuck with either being...ready... all the time or having to inflate the dang thing to be gtg. how romantic... but i hardly think this is a good use of resources. there are vets with real disabilities who can't get proper care, and no, ED is NOT a disability, imo. if it quits workin' on ya, it's time to quit chasing skirts, but other than that, you can function perfectly well in all other aspects, not being able to get a little isn't going to kill you. if it can't be treated by any other means than cutting it open and putting foreign objects in there, your done dude. deal with it. isn't 61 just way too old to be so worried about getting tail to THAT extent anyway? the only reason i could feel any sympathy here is if he had it done because of a pain issue. i forget what it's called, some disease that causes scarring and makes erections extremely painful. since no one says why he had the implant in the first place, it's just really hard to be sorry for him.

    October 4, 2012 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. more2bits

    I guess the hospital hasn't heard of the phrase 'Don't touch my junk' !

    October 4, 2012 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Thor

    When anyone goes into the military, the military PROMISES to take care of their medical needs, their food needs, their clothing needs. YES even WOMEN who lose a significant amount of weight could go to Bethesda and get breast cosmetic surgury to fix "What their husbands caused." Now, as usual, American citizens are happy to bask in the glory of free speech and free elections, and such... all earned by the blood of the MILITARY... the DEATH of men and women... the MAIMING of men and women! .........and you people would begrudge someone who wants to be able to have sex at 60... which, by the way, is normal for average Americans these days. You people who would begrudge a veteran ANYTHING that he was promised make me sick. Makes me angry as nails that you hypocrits have the gall to do that.

    October 4, 2012 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Pliny

    They left the ice pack on for 19 hours!!!!!

    They should be sued....then fired....then shot.

    They are CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT and should NEVER BE ALLOWED NEAR THE MEDICAL PROFESSION FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

    October 4, 2012 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.