Photo: University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center
Hispanics who have been on a hunger strike for the last two weeks demanding organ transplants for the undocumented racked up a win Tuesday by getting one of the Chicago hospitals at the center of the protests to provide such a procedure.
Mexican immigrant Lorenzo Arroyo, 36, will be given the medical attention he needs, including a kidney transplant, at the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center, the hunger strikers said.
Arroyo, who suffers from kidney failure due to a hereditary disease, took part in the fast for the first few days until his health deterioranted and he stopped under doctors’ orders.
“The agreement also says that the medical center will form a commission with other hospitals to take care of urgent cases for whom no medical attention is available because of their immigration status,” the Rev. Jose Landaverde, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission in the mainly Mexican neighborhood of Little Village, said.
Nonetheless, he said “the fight is far from over” because the campaign is looking for immediate solutions for another two Latinos who need transplants.
The hunger strike took place at the mission starting June 3 and currently involves seven people protesting the exclusion of the undocumented from transplant waiting lists.
With the support of community and religious groups, health-care unions and Occupy Chicago, the protest focused on the UIC Medical Center and the Loyola University Medical Center.