Mother wants answers in soldier's death
Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News
Carmel - The mother of an Indiana soldier who died recently is making serious allegations that poor medical treatment at an Army facility led to his death. Kay McMullen of Carmel buried her son, Sergeant Gerald Cassidy, this past Monday. She's now going public with concerns that the Army is incapable of caring for thousands of injured soldiers returning home.
Fifteen months after he was injured in Iraq by a roadside bomb, Sgt. Gerald Cassidy, or GJ as he was known to his family, died and was buried this week with full military honors.
Sgt. Cassidy was receiving medical treatment through the Wounded Warrior Transition Program at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. But McMullen said that treatment led to her son's death.
"I think the Army's lack of care and lack of medical treatment killed my son," said McMullen.
His family says that GJ Cassidy suffered from symptoms consistant with a severe head injury, including debilitating headaches and fainting spells. He had partial hearing loss and post traumatic stress syndrome. Kay McMullen was trying to get her son to an Indianapolis hospital she felt he could receive the treatment that she says he wasn't getting at Ft. Knox. Sgt.
GJ Cassidy was found dead in his room at the wounded warrior facility on a Friday evening. The results of an independent autopsy paid for by his family were inconclusive. Yet his family believes he was unconscious and alone in his room until his death two days later.
"They have more patients and more wounded soldiers than they have the facilities and the doctors to take care of them," said McMullen.
The Army confirms that it is investigating the death of Sgt. GJ Cassidy, but won't comment because it is ongoing and that results from a military autopsy could take several weeks.
"I am going to keep talking to anybody and everybody in the news media that will listen to me so that my son's death has some meaning; so that my son's death had a reason - to maybe save other people, because that's all I have left. And if his death was totally futile and has no meaning, it's going to be even more difficult for us to live with," said McMullen.
GJ Cassidy served his nation in Iraq but died at home, leaving his wife and two children - and his mother - now looking for answers.
USA today reports that doctors and scientists are discovering that traumatic brain injury from bomb blasts are becoming the signature wound of the Iraq war. It's unclear if that caused or led to Sgt. Cassidy's death.