A 36-year-old Iraq war veteran was being treated for traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and back injuries with more than 27 different medications when he died unexpectedly, according to his mother.
Paul Gardner, of Billings died on March 3, 2011 from complications related to injuries he sustained in Iraq after a rocket attack on his base, said Claire Gardner, of Seattle.
She blames the pills — and the VA for the complications.
“It seemed like all they were doing was overmedicating him,” Claire Gardner said. “They were treating the symptoms with pills and covering up the real problems.”
She is concerned that other veterans are also being overmedicated. That is why she has put up $5,000 in seed money to jump-start the Paul Gardner Veterans Relief Foundation to give veterans non-narcotic options for rehabilitation and relief from chronic pain.