Vet heard voices, sought help -- and was turned away?
After six sleepless nights, Blake Uddin knew he was in trouble.
He was hearing voices and feeling "clairvoyant." A sergeant in the Wisconsin National Guard with two tours of duty in Iraq, Uddin drove himself to the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs hospital, where he expected to be admitted.
Instead, after a two-hour exam, doctors said he was not a threat to himself or others, even though they called his Guard unit and suggested he not be allowed around weapons. He was told to come back the following week.
Four days later, with the voices now telling him, "Run ... run ... they're coming," he stole a car, crashed it and spent desperate minutes rushing across four lanes of morning rush-hour traffic. Footage from an overhead traffic camera shows him stepping in front of a semi-truck slowing to keep from striking him. Then he is hit by a van and thrown 50 feet into a ditch.
A psychologist who later examined him said Uddin was experiencing "an acute, significant, psychotic break." The psychologist took the unusual step of criticizing the VA for not admitting him or giving him medication and called the VA's lack of action "perplexing."