Thursday, May 25, 2006
That's Just Wrong: Kidney
For one South Florida man, everyday is critical. As he waits for a kidney transplant, his health is starting to decline. But when the government turned down an actual donor, he told us that's just wrong.
WSVN--Paul Lugo looks like a healthy man.
But so did Miami Heat star Alanzo Mourning before his kidney's failed.
"I have to do this every night."
Zo was lucky. He got a kidney from a cousin.
Paul is still waiting.
Paul Lugo: "They put me on the list."
Unfortunately, Paul thought none of his relatives were a match to donate a kidney until his cousin stepped forward.
Paul Lugo: "I was very happy, I felt I got saved."
All he had to do was make arrangements for his cousin sandra to fly to South Florida from her home in Columbia.
Paul Lugo: "I had to set up an appointment at the consulate at Bogata."
But when she went to get her Visa, the United States government denied her visit.
The government claimed because Sandra didn't know how long she would need to recover, she couldn't determine her return date... And could stay in the states illegally for the rest of her life.
Paul Lugo: "Basically what they're saying is, they'd rather me die and wait for somebody on the list, than let somebody in from another country to help me."
Now, Paul says that's just wrong.
Not only is his cousin honest, but since she's leaving her only son in Colombia, he knows she will want to return home.
Paul Lugo: "It's making me cry. It really hurts because it's, it's like you see the light at the end of the tunnel and they just take it away from you. You know. I got three girls."
Paul was told he could appeal.
But the state department has dozen's of forms.
He's not even sure which ones he needs, plus the application fee can cost over $200.
Paul Lugo: "I feel like a need a law degree and maybe a secretary."
Fortunately, there is a possible solution for paul.
After he called 7 News, we called congresswoman Illeana Ros-Leithenan's office...
They told him he needs to get more letters from doctors and they'll help him fill out the right forms.
Paul Lugo: "She's gonna send it back to the consulate to see if they can review it with the new letters that I brought from the doctors."
Now, for the first time in months he has hope his health could be improving.
Paul Lugo: "I have been getting real sick lately. I've been in and out of the hospital."
But if the congresswoman can get his cousin clearance, he could soon be going to the hospital for the transplant that would save his life.
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