Veteran, wife say VA dragging feet on treatment to help them have baby

DENVER -- Army veteran Tyler Wilson and his wife Crystal are fighting a battle they never saw coming.

The married couple are ready for baby No. 2 but can’t move forward without a critical approval form the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“It is never how a veteran and their family should be treated,” Crystal Wilson said.

The Wilsons say they’ve been working with the VA on approval for almost five months and are still waiting for the go-ahead.

Tyler Wilson was shot four times while serving in Afghanistan, leaving him paralyzed.

After his service, life took a turn for the better when Tyler met Crystal. The two fell in love and got married.

“Family was an immediate conversation for the both of us,” Crystal Wilson said in September 2016.

Crystal Wilson was five months pregnant after going through in vitro fertilization. But at the time, the VA did not cover fertility treatments, even for veterans with service-related disabilities.

The Wilsons paid $40,000 out of pocket.

“They completely abandoned him and every other veteran in his shoes and in his seat, and said thanks for your service. Figure it out,” Crystal Wilson said in 2016.

The Wilsons did not want other couples to struggle like they did. For months, they asked lawmakers in Washington to give veterans the coverage they deserve.

Congress approved fertility-related coverage for wounded veterans and their families for two years.

One year and five months later, Mathew, their baby boy, is a year old.

“Being a dad is an indescribable feeling,” Tyler Wilson said.

They thought this time around, the VA would cover the tens of thousands of dollars for the necessary fertility treatment.

But what the Wilsons thought would be a simple process, they say is a mess.

“My consult has now been denied six times and Tyler has been denied three times, for reasons that in my opinion, in Tyler’s opinion, and other peoples’ opinion, are plain ridiculous,” Crystal Wilson said.

“The most frustrating part with this whole process is that there is no process. They have absolutely no idea how to implement this law that was passed,” Tyler Wilson said.

The Wilsons can’t afford to pay for IVF out of pocket again. If the VA does not  approve the treatment before the coverage expires in September, Mathew might never be a big brother.

“You hope for it. You wish for it. You pray for it. You want it so desperately,” Crystal Wilson said.

The VA said it is still looking into the matter.

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