By Debbie Gregory.
The Army Reserve has allegedly reopened an investigation into whether a reservist’s heart attack during a required physical fitness test should be considered “in the line of duty.” The determination would be the deciding factor as to whether or not the medical bills will be paid by the government.
In November, 2015, Army Reserve Capt. Shane Morgan was in the midst of his push-up test. “I got 15 in, and I noticed that it was a lot harder for me to do push-ups than it has ever been,” Shane said.
He was hooked up to an EKG, which revealed that Morgan had one artery that was completely blocked, and he was having a heart attack.
The good news is that he survived. The bad news is that a line-of-duty investigation by the Army determined that Morgan’s heart attack was not triggered by the test, so the Army will not pay the medical bills.
That has left Morgan and his spouse, Jaime, with $10,000 in medical costs after private insurance through Morgan’s civilian employer paid it’s portion.
Pressure built up via a media campaign has led the Army to reopen its investigation. But Army Reserve officials have cited privacy rules that prevent the confirmation of this action..
“The Army Privacy Act Program prohibits us from discussing a soldier’s medical history or medical records,” said Maj. Adam Jackson, an Army Reserve spokesman.
The line of duty investigation findings stated that although Morgan’s heart attack occurred during the PT test, it was not caused by the test.
“The mere fact that the soldier was in an ‘authorized status’ does not support a determination of ‘line of duty’ in and of itself,” states the document, signed by Michelle Palmer, chief of the Reserve’s health branch services. “There is a chance this may have occurred in or out of duty status.”
But Jaime Morgan said “You have a heart attack during a forced, a mandated PT test and then you tell him it’s his fault that he could have had it at home, but he didn’t have it at home he had it, while he was doing push-ups.”
Proving that her husband isn’t the only warrior in the family, Jaime has vowed to keep fighting the ruling until it is reversed and the bills are paid by the military.