Veteran claims parking problems at Indy VA hospital made him miss appointment

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 29, 2015) -- A veteran of the military says lack of parking at the Roudebush VA Hospital in downtown Indianapolis made him miss his appointment. He claims it's because visitors at Eskenazi Hospital next door are using those spots since Eskenazi makes you pay. Reid Harrison and his wife Rachael didn't know what to do, so they reached out to us to try to get answers.

From 2010 to 2014, Harrison was in the Marines.

"I was a mortarman in the infantry, and I did two deployments," he said.

But in that time, he developed PTSD and now desperately needs the care of doctors at the VA hospital.

"You deal with different people, being nervous, and anxiety," Harrison said. "There's just so much, so many things that come from PTSD."

Anxiety built up significantly when the Harrison's had an appointment Wednesday. They arrived at Roudebush with plenty of time, but because there wasn't a parking space for them, they missed their precious appointment. Could people parking illegally really be the reason?

"They (Roudebush) told us that because of the Eskenazi parking situation people were flooding over and they didn't know how to resolve it. So that's when we were like 'okay, us either'," said Rachael Harrison.

Eskenazi charges $1 for patients, but visitors pay depending on how long they were in the garage. If lack of parking at Roudebush, or people avoiding the charge at Eskenazi is why Reid Harrison missed his appointment, and now has to wait two weeks for another one, the Harrison's say that's not good.

"You have veterans, you know, that don't have limbs or have to be wheeled in," Harrison said. It's just extremely inconvenient for the people that really need that help."

A spokesperson for Roubebush said they are going to investigate the concern of Eskenazi visitors parking here. They say there are plans are in the works to add on to the south garage later this year since parking improvements have been on their minds for a while. The spokesperson also said another reason for the lack of parking may be the fact that more appointments have recently been booked.

An official with Eskenazi Hospital said this is the first he's heard of these concerns, but has reported it to the head of parking and security for an investigation.

Both Eskenazi and Roudebush VA Hospital work together, and both promise to look in to this issue.

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