Reporting Bernie Tafoya
CHICAGO (CBS) – A 54-year old woman who is on a hunger strike was rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital on Monday, after complaining of abdominal pain and chills.
Catalina Arroyo was one of five people entering the ninth day of a hunger strike to bring attention to the difficulty undocumented immigrants face in trying to get organ transplants.
Hunger striker Hilda Burgos says, “Here it’s almost like, you have legal status, oh, you can live. You’re not, you can die.”
The hunger strikers especially want help for three brothers who need liver transplants, and another man who needs a kidney.
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Burgos said she’s willing to sacrifice herself to protest hospitals turning those four men away.
“I’m ready to die for them,” she said.
The hunger strikers singled out Loyola University and UIC Medical Centers as being unhelpful.
Rev. Jose Landaverde, of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Catholic Mission in Little Village, said, “If you don’t have documents, you are condemned to death”.
He said there are thousands of Latino and non-Latino immigrants who don’t have documents who “are suffering the same situation”.
Loyola officials said, unfortunately, some people don’t qualify to be on a transplant list.
UIC officials said undocumented or resident immigrants who don’t qualify for special funds need a living donor and money to get a transplant.