On September 19, Jesus Armando Cornelio collapsed while playing soccer at a park with his brother. Today, his wife fights to afford the health care he needs, as Arizona’s laws state that Medicaid is only for those who have been legal permanent residents for five years.
Evelyn Saenz-Cornelio’s husband now has brain damage after his brain went without oxygen for about 13 minutes. And though doctors at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix say they will continue to treat him for the time being, Saenz-Cornelio says she has been told by the hospital that she needs to take him to Mexico for treatment, where he is originally from, or put him in hospice care.
Cornelio, 23, has lived in the U.S. since he was 10-years-old. He obtained an employment authorization card and a Social Security card from the U.S. government and next week, he was scheduled to have a final interview to get a permanent resident card. Immigrants are not eligible for Arizona Medicaid until they have been legal permanent residents for five years, something Jesus Cornelio is not.
Though the hospital has given them a one-week extension, Saenz-Cornelio says she does not know what she will do once that week is up.