Teen may get life-saving kidney transplant

July 21, 2008 3:47:55 PM PDT
There is hope for a teenager in need of a lifesaving transplant. Eighteen-year-old Omar Castillo needs a new kidney. But until Monday, Omar has not been able to receive treatment at UIC Hospital.

Omar Castillo came to the US from Mexico.

Calls for help come from one organization and even the governor may have helped Omar Castillo get the treatment he needs.

On Monday afternoon the teenager with a failing kidney may get a life-saving transplant.

The news comes after a boisterous few days on behalf of Castillo.

The group rallies in support of children's care in the state of Illinois regardless of legal status. Specifically they are rallying around 18-year-old Omar Castillo.

"Every night from the moment he sleeps until 9:00 in the morning, he administers dialysis to himself, and sooner or later, the body will tire of all the chemicals in there. Ultimately, Omar will die without a transplant," said Julie Santos, League of United Latin American Citizens.

Relatives say Castillo got sick two years ago and was recommended for a kidney transplant. They says he went to University of Illinois Chicago Hospital with the transplant recommendation last year, but was not called back for treatment.

Castillo came to the United States from Mexico in 2005. His parents were deported in 2007. He and his sister and brother remained in Chicago in hopes of getting care for Omar.

"I want the hospital to help my brother because he needs his kidney. If he don't get his kidney, he will die," said sister Elizabeth Abarci.

A spokesman for the governor says on Friday someone from the governor's office called UIC to see what could be done. Despite his residency status, the governor's office tells ABC7 all children are covered under the new Kids Care Health Insurance Plan.

Late Monday afternoon after the governor's efforts and Monday morning's protest, it appears Omar is in the process of being screened for a transplant.

The university has not confirmed the situation, and has been reluctant to release any specific information without getting consent from the patient.

ABC7 understands that Omar is currently in a procedure and that procedure is part of the steps taken in advance of a transplant.


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