VA Inspector General to review suicide of Wisconsin Dells native - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

VA Inspector General to review suicide of Wisconsin Dells native

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has agreed to review the case of a Wisconsin Dells native who committed suicide last month.

33 year-old Brandon Ketchum took his own life, after his psychiatrist refused to admit him for inpatient psychiatric treatment at the Iowa City VA Medical Center on July 7.

Ketchum moved to Iowa after serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the Marines, and then the Army National Guard.

His family first raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his death in a story on 27 News last month.

That story led Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) to request the OIG review, which was granted Thursday by Inspector General Michael Missal.

As a result of his service to his country, Ketchum suffered from PTSD and had pain from physical injuries. That led to an addiction to prescription painkillers, and eventually heroin.

Along with his substance abuse problems, Brandon had also been flagged as a risk for suicide several times in the years preceding his death.

On July 7, he went to check himself into that inpatient psychiatric ward, but posted on Facebook the next day that his VA psychiatrist denied him entry.

Ketchum took his own life just a few hours later.

His family met with that VA psychiatrist two weeks ago, but said they got very few answers. They hope the OIG review can produce more information.

"If it comes back with - they didn't do anything wrong - I'll be able to accept that," said Brad Ketchum, Brandon's brother. "But I just don't want to see other veterans - or anybody for that matter - go down that same road of being hopeless, asking for help, going to the right place, and then not getting the care."

Brad Ketchum and his family now have roughly 1,200 pages of Brandon's VA medical records, which contain detailed notes from that psychiatrist about the events of July 7.

But Brad and said those notes don't match up to what that psychiatrist told the family in person, which is why they want an independent review.

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