July 23, 2009, - 12:33 pm

What Happened to Soldier Colton Read?: A Scary Preview of ObamaCare

By Debbie Schlussel
As you know, there is already one segment of American society that has government-run “healthcare,” the military and its veterans. It’s a shame how poorly our government treats those who served our country. And here’s a stark preview of what government “healthcare” will be like for the rest of us.

An airman lost parts of both legs and was in critical condition after routine gallbladder surgery at Travis Air Force Base went terribly wrong, his family said.
Airman 1st Class Colton Read was supposed to get his gallbladder removed laparoscopically – via a small incision – at Travis’ David Grant Medical Center on July 9.
During the procedure, surgeons nicked or punctured his aorta, a large artery that carries blood from the heart throughout the body, according to his wife, Jessica Read. The surgeons repaired the breach enough to save his life, but the repair began leaking and disrupted the blood supply to his legs, she said.


Read was flown to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where doctors told the family that damage from the lack of blood required amputation. Family members say he’s undergone 10 surgeries to remove dead tissue from his legs, leaving him without much of his right leg and the lower portion of his left.
And Read still hasn’t had his gallbladder removed because of the surgery complications, relatives said.
Travis officials would not comment on specifics, only saying a “serious medical incident” occurred at the hospital.

Airman Colton Read is only 20 years old.

Instead of immediately calling in a vascular surgeon to repair the damage to the artery that carried blood from the heart, doctors at the air base waited 8 1/2 hours before taking him to the UC Davis hospital.
By the time Read got there, his wife Jessica said, doctors told her, “Things don’t look good. He might not survive.” . . .
Jessica Read told KXTV that when she noticed during the surgery that her husband’s feet were turning blue and asked doctors about it, they said they were working on him and told her to go out to the waiting room.

Expect a lot of “serious medical incidents” like this under ObamaCare. Your life will literally be in his hands. And the hands of those become doctors. The best and brightest generally go where the money is, and under ObamaCare, they won’t be your doctors.
More of those like the ones who “took care” of Colton Read will be operating on you . . . if you’re lucky enough to live long enough to finally get surgery.
Pray for this American soldier. And pray that the rest of America isn’t forced into the “healthcare” system in which he found himself. In that system, health has nothing to do with it.

24 Responses

I’d be curious to find out more about these butchers, er, surgeons. When I worked for the DoJ, I was aware of a program that allowed foreign “doctors” to come to the USA and fast track citizenship if they agreed to do 4 years of “service” for the U.S. govt…typically in federal prisons, but I wonder- maybe for VA’s too?

Doda McCheesle on July 23, 2009 at 1:22 pm

One accident doesn’t mean this will happen to everyone. Even doctors are capable of making mistakes. Besides shouldn’t doctors care more about thier patients instead of how much the sick guy in front of them is gonna pay?

nakruh01 on July 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I may be mistaken, but in the 1950’s the U.S. government passed/implimented the “Ferris Doctrine.” (I hope I spelled it correctly.) Therein, members of the military, and the immediate family, may not file suit against the government because of medical mistakes. Heck, there are “Nurses,” at least in the Navy, who are on active duty/active reserve duty that have NOT taken/passed national boards to obtain the “RN” status. I believe that they (those who have not passed boards) can serve up until the rank of LT (O-3) before they must resign their commission.
Don’t forget all the H1B Visa status “Nurses” at WRAMC, who let’s say have a language “disability.” Their medical techniques leave much to be desired also… lack of aseptic technique(s), inability to read signas on prescriptions (wrong route/wrong doses) inability to diferentiate between wet-to-dry dressing changes and occluisive dressings etc. and between eye ointments and topicals.
…and the VA is running a close second.
Stay hard brother!

SickBoy on July 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm

It is worse than that. I was listening to Hugh Hewitt last night, Hugh said that due to Sovereign Immunity those on the Government plan (which will wind up being most people if not everyone after some time) you won’t be able to sue for legitimate reasons.

i_am_me on July 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Its supposed to be the country’s way of caring for those who sacrificed on its behalf. Its not doing a very good job of delivering on the care veterans and their families expect. If the VA can’t look after veterans, how is the government going to look after every one else? Again, if its not good enough for Congress, why should the rest of us be forced to enroll in it?

NormanF on July 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I live in Canada and our health care system is in bad shape despite what the media says to the contrary. In quebec, at least, expect a long wait in the hospital emergency, indifferent and underpaid doctors and other staff, a long wait for specialized scanning or treatments, if it is even available and a government who believe in creating more and more bureaucracy. In fact our government had to send some patients to the US of A for treatment as none was available here. Universal health care does not work.

Chuck W on July 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm

what do you call a “D” graduate of medical school?
Lieutenant, sir.
For those who don’t get it, when barely passing they go in to the military full time to be “respected” doctors.
During the Gulf War the influx of “real and competent” reserve officer doctors were a happy sight. They lost a lot from leaving their practices but are responsible for saving many military lives.
Had a fellow Marine injured in a motorcycle accident in CA. He was hit and then run over by a drunk driver. He was airlifted to a civilian hospital where after many hours in surgery they saved his leg. Two weeks later he was transferred to the naval hospital and the first thing the “doctors” told him was they would have just cut it off. Over the next year of poor military medical coverage he almost had to have it cut off.
so as to not upset anyone, yes there are good doctors in the military, but there are also incompetent hacks who couldn’t get a job anywhere else.

ender on July 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm

tragic story. its hystrionic to connect this to health care reform.

comma dot on July 25, 2009 at 2:08 am

Sounds like Canadian health-care, where everybody in the country, including refugees, have the ‘right to health-care and a physician’ –Trouble is without a physician, you can’t even get a blood test. We have almost 10% of our citizens and wannabee-citizens waiting for a doctor, for up to two years. We have little children dying in ER of burst appendixes. We have people told, ‘You can only talk to the doctor about one thing in your 5-minute appt.’ If you want to talk to him/her about more than that, you have to make another (month or more away) appt. You have people being seen in ER, released, then back into another line-up soon thereafter – Why? Because they weren’t adequately treated the first time. Expensive and wasteful – Oh, yeah! Is that what you want? Something like this poor veteran has suffered?

Gov't Run Healthcare = more deaths, less care on July 25, 2009 at 2:38 am

It is ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIC that you are using this unforunate tragedy to push your idiotic and heartless ideas. This man is in need of support and one who would probably be incredibly offended that you are blatently bad mouthing the one industry that he is begging to still be a part of- the military. The military medical system is full of compassionate and hard-working individuals who work countless long hours to save the lives of the people that walk through their doors. But you know what, they are human, just like each and every one of us. The health care industry runs off the expertise, knowledge and occassional unplanned outcomes of the human hand. Things happen.

Now, for the POS named ‘Sickboy’: You need to get your facts straight. The military only commissions nurses as officers which means they have a 4 year Bachelors degree. Over half of the nurses working in the civilian industry only have 2 year RN degrees so you will actually find better educated and trained nurses in the military health care system. So don’t go sticking your neck out when someone with more facts can put you in your place jack@$$.

BTW, I found an ad on my car tonight for a ‘Save Jared’ car wash tomorrow. Apparently Jared was recently diagnosed with Stage III testicular cancer which made him take too many sick days and he lost his job and insurance and now has no way to pay for life-saving medial care. So his friends are holding a car wash. A car wash is all we can do to help a fellow American out? Do you really want your loved one, your friend, your co-worker to be in this situation?! But I guess you all don’t care since you apparently you’re just fine and that’s all that matters, right?

You are a DISGRACE! on July 25, 2009 at 6:58 am

Don’t know much about this Debbie person but she’s obviously a raging heartless bitch that seriously needs to get laid. Apparently the cobwebs down south have migrated into the air between those ears.

Raging bitch on July 25, 2009 at 7:09 am

I just watched Soylent Green. Seems like a preview of Obama Deathcare to come.

BONNI on July 25, 2009 at 11:40 pm

wow…so this where all the remaining republicans come to hang out.

oh snap on July 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Hey moron who equivocates a “4 year degree” with “Registered Nurse”… While I was spending 62 days on ward 57 at WRAMC, one gets to know which RN and medic they can trust to ensure competent and succinct and ACCURATE medical/wound care. Not to mention which one can administer proper aseptic technique. Then, after developing a secondary bone infection (due to improper third world “misunderstanding”) I was transferred to Bethesda Naval for another 80 days of inpatient care. Even while there, the Ensign’s, JG’s and even LTs on watch/rotations had to be watched. A USN LT (who was a prior enlisted USN Diving Medical Technician (DMT) and I spoke at length on the “team” he worked with (ain’t late night full thickness burn pain over 35% BSA a bitch!). While the soldier’s horrific story is shocking, the underlying cause is preventable-higher standards for the entire military health care system. Perhaps they ALL should attend 18-D at Bragg vice H1bs and promissory notes to pass boards BEFORE receiving a commission? There are plenty of awesome Docs etc doing the deed, but as an ancient Chinese philosopher said, “Great leaders are only known to exist.”
Finally, if it weren’t for MY Marines, this retired Navy (18-D) corpsman wouldn’t be here today! Train like you fight!
Semper Fricken Fi!

Sick Boy on July 30, 2009 at 9:58 pm

As of right now I’m going to school to be a MA for all of you that don’t know what a MA is, It’s a Medical Asst. My teacher has my lab partner and I doing a Project on Malpractice, and we picked the Colton Read case, because we have so many friends and family members in the military. I feel for the Read family and wish them the best. I also feel the Doctor that did the surgery should not practice anymore But this is only my opinion.
Again, I wish the family the best!

Jessica on August 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Sadly it is a scary preview of Obama care. Anyone read the fine print on that? It will make it near impossible to sue, just like Colton read cannot sue. There will be doctors like this everywhere.


AF wife on February 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm

This happens all the time at David Grant only this man SSGT Dean Witt lost his life after having his appendix removed.
See Los Angeles Times article.

AnotherJackieO on March 4, 2010 at 8:43 pm


I am Colton Read and if anyone still reads this leave a comment on my website coltonread.com and I will gladly answer any questions.


Colton Read on March 30, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Wow. You couldn’t be more misinformed! Do you watch anything except Fox News? First, “Obamacare” is not government run healthcare, despite what the Glenn Beck’s in the world tell you. It is still privately run healthcare. What happened to this young man is a terrible tragedy. There is no doubt about it. Do you think these incompetent mistakes don’t happen in our current privately run health insurance system? Of course they do! You know what major thing President Obama’s system will do that will improve it? Instead of insurance companies (whom you seem to love and defend) being able to arbitrarily rescind (I know that’s a big word for you… it means “annul” or “cut”) his coverage, leaving him uninsured and facing huge debts … the new system will instead make sure that this young man has insurance that can’t be taken away from him. It will make sure that he doesn’t go broke with health insurance copays and deductibles. What planet are you living on? Get your facts straight. Read a newspaper. Stop letting people like Beck and Limbaugh frighten you with the bogeyman. They’re playing you! Just google all the people who have lost their insurance coverage under the system you seem to so dearly love. That’s private health care. Private health care is all about how much money they can make. And you know how they do that? By denying you coverage. By rescinding you if you cost them too much. That’s PRIVATE health care.

Schlussel on May 10, 2010 at 7:41 am

It’s quite disgusting how an ever increasing number of people feel absolutely no shame in using real tragedies to advance there silly political agenda. When I saw “Google Collin Read” on a bumper sticker I figured it was some sort of anti Obama idiotic ranting. Sadly, I was right. Have you no shame?

true patriot on February 25, 2011 at 8:18 pm

David Grant Medical Center is a teaching hospital, the surgeon who nicked the artery was a resident (STUDENT). The supervising surgeon was the one who saved the ruptured artery. The incident was not the result of malpractice (negligent professional activity by a medical practitioner) it was an incredibly unfortunate accident made by an inexperienced surgeon who was trying still learning his trade.

Keeping Obamacare from happening isn’t going to keep students from making mistakes, and to think government run healthcare is the reason behind this incident is a gross extrapolation. Debbie you should be ashamed of yourself for using this Airman’s unfortunate experience to support your anti-Obama propaganda. And yes, he is an AIRMAN not a SOLDIER.

TheMaxx on April 13, 2013 at 7:10 am

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