Jorge Mariscal, a 24-year-old graphic design student, received a kidney transplant he waited eight long years for courtesy of Chicago’s Loyola University Medial Center this past Thursday. But, you see, Mariscal is an illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was a year old.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Mariscal considered heading back to Mexico for the transplant since “doctors said he wouldn’t be able to receive a kidney transplant in the U.S. because he is undocumented.” However, Loyola agreed to pay for the surgery, and Mariscol will have to come up with the approximately $10,000 a year cost for the medications he will need to be on for the rest of his life.
Quite a difficult feat for one without medical insurance.
Mariscol told the Chicago Tribune, “It feels great to have a second opportunity at life. It’s an overwhelming feeling. I don’t think I would have been happy in Mexico.”
He added, though, that he is still concerned about other illegal immigrants who require lifesaving medical treatments.
“Why can’t we be treated the same?” Mariscol asked? “Health care should be a human right, not a privilege. At least give us the chance to fight for our lives with dignity.”
One can hope that Mariscol will show his gratitude for this second chance at life and follow a path to legal citizenship.
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