Air Force Veteran's Five-Month Wait for VA Wheelchair Ends

Department of Veterans Affairs

An Air Force veteran's more-than-five-month wait for a wheelchair from the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center ended Friday afternoon.

A delivery driver dropped a chair off at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help assisted-living center around 3 p.m., Arthur and Elaine DeAngelis said.

"I've been in it for 10 minutes now," Arthur DeAngelis said. "So far, so good."

Arthur DeAngelis, 80, has lived at the facility since December after breaking his back last summer. He served in the Air Force for nearly four years, receiving an honorable discharge in 1961.

DeAngelis was fitted at the Hampton VA on April 22. At the time, the couple expected to wait six to eight weeks. They said multiple calls to inquire about the delay were not returned.

Several people, including Sen. Mark Warner and state Sen. Bill DeSteph, reached out to assist the couple -- including offers by some to donate a wheelchair -- after a story detailing their wait appeared in The Virginian-Pilot earlier this week. Someone even dropped off a chair at the assisted-living facility, Elaine DeAngelis said.

"It's very kind of them, you know," Elaine DeAngelis said.

The new chair is smaller and more fitted to Arthur DeAngelis' needs.

The Hampton VA declined to discuss the couple's case but called the delay an isolated incident.

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