While heath care reform dominates the national debate, there is a 14 year-old boy in Kansas City, Kansas named Eduardo Loredo who could die any day.
Eduardo is being denied a heart transplant because he does not have health insurance (or enough money) to pay for a heart transplant and follow up care. Eduardo was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy, a serious disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and eventually stops working altogether, and was hospitalized at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO beginning in July 2009. Eduardo was sent home from Children’s Mercy Hospital on October 14, 2009 and told that he had the potential to live another two or three years, but that he could also die any day.
Missouri’s Medicaid program is generally available only to citizens and certain legal immigrants who meet a five year waiting period. These restrictive rules prevent Eduardo from qualifying for health insurance that would cover both the transplant procedure and the long-term follow up care required to ensure a successful transplant. Without this coverage, the total cost of the transplant would cost his family $500,000. Children’s Mercy Hospital told Eduardo that without an up-front payment of $100,000, he would not even be able to get on the waiting list for a heart transplant. While Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO originally offered to perform the transplant surgery for no cost, this offer was later retracted. His family is simply being told that his life is not a priority.
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These human rights include necessities such as housing, education, food, and health care. Although the United States signed this declaration, we are still waiting for our government to guarantee these rights.
Martin Luther King, Jr declared: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
Whoever we are—whatever the color of our skin or how much money we have in the bank account or where we come from—we all deserve the chance to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. And so does Eduardo.
The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) calls on hospitals, doctors, health clinics, politicians, religious people, and all people of conscience to take responsibility for Eduardo’s life, and help him to live. Please contact Cheri Honkala, national Organizer of PPEHRC, at 267-439-8419 or firstname.lastname@example.org to help us save Eduardo.
As our government continues the battle to reform our health care system, may they look at Eduardo and declare: ENOUGH.
Enough people have died as a result of being barred from medical care that could have saved their lives.
Not one more Death. Health Care is a Human Right!