UIC to consider liver transplant for illegal immigrant

June 19, 2012 6:43:01 AM PDT
University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago released a statement Monday saying it is reviewing the case of an undocumented immigrant in need of a liver transplant.

Jose Landaverde, a religious leader and activist leading the Hunger Strike for Healthcare fundraising movement, met with UIC officials Monday to discuss two transplant cases.

In a news release, University of Illinois Hospital said it has agreed to begin the evaluation process for one of the undocumented immigrants in need of a liver transplant who has been previously treated at the hospital.

The hospital said currently there are 788 candidates on the waiting list to receive a transplant at the hospital.

A Hunger Strike for Healthcare news release says brothers Lorenzo and Efego Arroyo are dying of a genetic liver disorder entitled primary amyloidosis. Their other brother, Francisco, who is not undocumented, has the same terminal illness and received a liver transplant, the release said.

Friends, family and Landaverde, of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, have been on a hunger strike since June 10 to demand medical treatment for the two brothers, the news release said.

Rush University Medical Center recently placed Efego on a waitlist to receive treatment, the news release said. Lorenzo has been seen at University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center before.

"There is no doubt that money exists in the system to treat Lorenzo. Medical institutions are subsidized by tax breaks and funded by federal and state taxes generated by all US residents, documented or not," the release said.

The hospital's news release said it does not receive reimbursement or supplemental funding from the government when transplanting undocumented immigrants who are not eligible for health care entitlement funds.

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