- Posted October 20, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Home and Away: Remembering the fallen
Soldier died in Iraq of Pulmonary Embolism
- sjunca, CNN iReport producer
My husband SGT John F. Burner III deployed to Iraq 21 August, 2010.
He got sick while training in Kuwait. He was in Kuwait for almost 3 weeks, before moving into Iraq. On 15 September 2010, at about 3 PM Eastern time I had a video conversation with him via skype. He looked very pale and appeared cold, as he had covered up with a blanket up to his neck. John looked like he kept falling asleep. He then told me that he had been sick for a while, but did not want me to worry, but felt the need to tell me that day. He also told me that he felt no one cared about him being sick. He tried to see a doctor that day but was told that there is no doctor available for sick call. John kept insisting he needed to be seen and was able to get an appointment. The Dr. there proceeded to tell him that they are not set up for any testing, since they are in transition and do not have a lab, but that he would need blood tests. My husband was sent away on quarters (bed rest) and told to come back in 2 days and hopefully everything would be set up by then to do the blood tests he needed. John's symptoms were coughing, difficulty breathing, tingling in hands and feet to the point where he couldn't even walk. John also told me that while on quarters he did not eat much, he was not checked on the way he should have been. Some days he only received one meal. John was uploading pictures to e-mail to me, said he would be right back. After waiting for a while, and he did not return, I started to get worried and made some phone calls. One hour later he was found outside of his living quarters. He was still alive when taken to the hospital, but had a respitory attack soon after and passed away.
I feel that his leadership and the medical system failed my husband. He started complaining about his symptoms about a week before he passed away. I can't help but think that they should have and could have done more for him.
My heart aches for my two daughters Celina (10) and Caitlyn (7).
My husband John was a great soldier, even better husband and father and deserved so much more!
I think this story needs to be heard, so changes can be made and no other family will have to go through something like that. A soldier should never be denied treatment! Like I said in some other articles, I am sure he wasn't the first and he won't be the last if no one speaks out about how out soldiers are treated.
Some photos were taken by www.rarebirdphoto.com