Teenager denied lifesaving transplant in US: National appeal to save Eduardo’s life

From the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign

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 cherippehrc@hotmail.com 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!


  1. Michael Chapman on November 30, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    The issues of health care justice and equality are seperate from the issues of immigration. I believe that we as a nation can not afford to be the health care provider for the world but we can also not afford to be the nation that allows people to die on the basis of their immigration statues.

    As a registered nurse I support our giving this young boy the care he needs and then dealing with his immigration issues later. As a citizen I also support real immigration reform that makes our borders more secure and minimizes the number of illegal immegrants in this country.

    We should help this boy because it is the right thing to do.

  2. Jan on December 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I am also a registered nurse but have a different view.

    Health care is a human right and that is the bottom line. This economy has a dependence on keeping people in the position of being undocumented; it benefits a great deal, actually. Not to mention that our policies on Latin America and Mexico have forced so many to leave their homes for survival. If this economy needs undocumented people, they should provide health care for them (well, ultimately they should provide documentation for them so they don’t have to live in such precarious situations).

    It is easy to judge the choices others made when we have so much privilege. We have no idea how it feels to have to leave our homelands where we lived in poverty, to leave our families behind and live like second-class citizens in a country hostile to us. Compassion and seeing others as equally human and deserving, papers or not, is the right thing to do. It’s time the prejudice in this country is confronted and eradicated. Enough is enough.

    Health care for all!

  3. Jan on December 7, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    One more thing: we need to get out of the habit of calling people illegal. Humans are never illegal. They may be undocumented but not illegal.