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Latino Daily News

Wednesday January 18, 2012

Three-Year-Old Mia Rivera Being Denied Life-Saving Transplant, Doctors Cite “Mental Retardation”

Three-Year-Old Mia Rivera Being Denied Life-Saving Transplant, Doctors Cite “Mental Retardation”

Photo: Amelia Rivera, 3, needs kidney transplant, but doctors refuse to perform surgery

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A three-year-old girl is being denied a life-saving kidney transplant because she is “mentally retarded” and is not expected to live very long.

Amelia “Mia” Rivera has a genetic disorder known as Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. It causes both mental and physical impairments, including the deterioration of her kidneys.

Outrageously, even though the little girl’s family has agreed to donate an organ to save her life, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is refusing to perform the operation.

Mia’s mother Chrissy Rivera says that she and her family arrived at the hospital Friday to, they thought, discuss the transplant/donation process, but instead, and doctor came in with paper on a clip board with the words “Mentally Retarded” highlighted on one sheet and “Brain Damage” highlighted on the either.

The doctor would go on to tell them that Amelia will never be able to get on the waiting list because she is mentally retarded. The mother, now crying and speaking through tears, interrupts him and says Mia not being able to get on a list doesn’t matter because a number of people from their large family have already agreed to donate if they are a match.

The doctor, who Chrissy describes only as being a small man with a Peruvian accent, then speaks the next few words slowly, “No. She is not eligible because of her quality of life, because of her mental delays.”

Today, Mia’s parents, Chrissy and Joe, are fighting the doctor’s decision to not recommend their daughter for a transplant.
A petition on Change.org has been started, and Mia’s mother is not giving up the fight for her daughter’s life.

It has been estimated, that Mia will need a transplant in 6 months to a year, and without it, she will die.

Read the Rivera family’s story here.