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Army Won't Pay Soldier's Medical Bills After Heart Attack

BOSTON (CBS) - An Army reservist is in a new battle. He's struggling to pay his medical bills after he had a heart attack during a fitness test.

"I've been through a lot," Shane Morgan said. "This past year has been as difficult, as challenging as my deployment to Afghanistan."

Morgan is an Army veteran, a captain who served in Afghanistan and a current active reserve member. But lately, Shane and his wife Jaime have fighting to get health benefits from the Army.

It all began when Shane took a required Army physical fitness test last November.

Shane Morgan
Shane Morgan (Courtesy Photo)

"As we were doing the push-ups 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.

"So he hooked me up to the EKG and said 'I'm 99.9 percent certain you're having a heart attack.'"

One artery was completely blocked, but there was another problem, the Army determined the heart attack did not happen in the line of duty, so its been withholding medical payments.

"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," Jaime said.

The Army cited an earlier blood test.

"My cholesterol was 214," Shane said. "However on the day that I had my heart attack the hospital did a lipid panel and my total cholesterol was down to 185."

With bills piling up, the Morgan's credit rating suffered, but the Army has just reopened the case. A spokesman told WBZ: "The physical and financial well-being of our soldiers and their families is a top concern for Army and Army Reserve leaders at all levels."

"I am cautiously optimistic," Shane said.

"Persistence has paid off definitely," said Jaime.

There is no timetable on when the case will be resolved.

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