Army Agrees To Pay Bills For Heart Attack Soldier Suffered During Fitness Test

Jonah Bennett | Contributor

An Army reservist who suffered a heart attack during a physical fitness test has just been told the service will pay for his medical bills, reversing its earlier position.

“The Army has fully reversed their decision and approved Shane’s LOD as of last night,” Morgan’s wife told Army Times Wednesday.

The LOD refers to the line-of-duty investigation, which is initiated after a servicemember suffers an injury. The point of the LOD is to determine whether the soldier was at fault and whether the injury could have actually been prevented.

Army Capt. Shane Morgan, an information systems management officer part of Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group Northeast at Fort Devens, Mass., experienced a heart attack in 2015 while completing a PT test. He was left with $30,000 in medical bills after the Army told him the cause wasn’t the test itself.

Rather, according to an investigation, a blocked artery caused the heart attack and that blocked artery did not just happen the same day as the PT test.

“Based on what is provided for supporting medical documents, it is clear you had a heart attack, but this type of blockage of the artery does not occur solely during or while performing of the Army Physical Fitness Test,” the report said. “The mere fact that the soldier was in an ‘authorized status’ does not support a determination of ‘in Line of Duty’ in and of itself.”

Morgan was at least relieved the LOD didn’t slam him with negligence or misconduct, but he was unhappy with the Oct. 5 decision.

He took his case to the media and just six days after his story went nationwide, a new investigator sat Morgan down, interviewed him and wrote up a new report, which rendered the old one obsolete. According to Army Times, Army Reserve Command gave the report its stamp of approval Nov. 1.

This new report was much more favorable to Morgan’s situation.

“It’s literally a miracle he survived,” Jaime, Shane’s wife, told Army Times earlier in October.

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