NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens man living with a debilitating disease and a life threatening condition says he’s is unable to get access to his vital medication because he’s not receiving his mail.
Joe Coughlin of Rockaway Beach has end-stage renal disease, Crohn’s disease, and a skin disorder that leaves him with painful open sores. The bedridden 34-year-old wasn’t expected to be alive today, and says the fight to beat his illness has been made more unbearable by the U.S. Postal Service.
“Now it’s the worst it’s ever been,” he tells CBS2. “We’re lucky if we even get mail once or twice a week.”
Coughlin reached out to CBS2 after seeing multiple stories we’ve done throughout the year about the shoddy mail service in the Rockaways. People were getting their mail late, receiving the wrong mail, or receiving no mail at all. Coughlin is dealing with each of those issues, but he says his health depends on the USPS.
“I have a medical card that entitles me to get my medication that helps with pain,” he said. “I can’t get my medicine without it, and it should’ve been here over a month ago.”
Coughlin worries he’ll run out of his medication because his temporary prescription card expired on Wednesday, and his new Medicaid card was never delivered. He says he ordered wound ointment and dressing more than a month ago. USPS records say the dressing was delivered two weeks ago, but Coughlin says he never got it.
He says his complaints to the local post offices have gone nowhere, and he doesn’t have the energy to fight them on it.
“If I could walk I would go there,” Coughlin said. “I’d probably start swinging at them because I’m at the point where I’m just so frustrated with them.”
CBS2 reached out to Senator Chuck Schumer’s office, which said they would reach out to Coughlin and were committed to investigating the postal problems plaguing the Rockaways.
“There are literally hundreds of people who are missing their mail in this neighborhood,” Coughlin said. “It’s not right. It’s just not fair. Just please, do your job.”
The representative from the USPS says it’s actively trying to track down Coughlin’s missing mail.