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Northern Kentucky vet returns from South Dakota surgery, with a little help from new friends

Navy veteran Roy Fulps recovering from surgery in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Navy veteran Roy Fulps recovering from surgery in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

In June 2020, we introduced you to Roy Fulps. The 80-year-old Navy veteran had just learned that the VA Medical Center had authorized 100% coverage for a life-saving operation to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The only problem was the doctor who pioneered the surgery that could save him was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The surgery also meant up to 30 days of recovery, and the expense of lodging and meals.

With Roy retired from a long career working for a nonprofit agency in Indiana and now living on a fixed income, the surgery seemed out of reach.

The VA explored multiple options to get Roy to South Dakota but kept coming up short. Until the VA placed a call to Easterseals Military & Veteran Services.

Director Scott Robinson didn’t hesitate to authorize funds to cover the cost of the flight for Roy and his son Roger, who would serve as his father’s medical guardian during recovery. Easterseals supporters also joined in, raising nearly $2,000 to cover travel and medical expenses for the family.

Roy’s story was covered by WCPO 9 anchor Craig McKee, a veteran of the US Air Force, for his weekly Homefront series featuring stories about local veterans. It didn’t take long for a link to the story to make its way to the Disabled American Veterans chapter in Sioux Falls.

The DAV sprang into action, lending the Fulps full use of the chapter van so they could make the trip from the hotel to the hospital and back at no charge. They also authorized a gift of $1,800 to help the family cover the costs of meals and other expenses.

Roy was discharged from the hospital earlier than expected and is back home in Northern Kentucky finishing up his recovery. An incredible journey that shows the true power of veterans helping veterans - helping veterans.

Create #BreakthroughMoments for local vets

You can create more #BreakthroughMoments for veterans like Roy with a gift to Easterseals Military & Veteran Services. Your gifts will support employment, educational, and emergency resources for veterans and military families right here in Greater Cincinnati.

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