Update: Kidney patient gets home

It’s being described as the miracle in Washington Heights. A week ago we told you about Octavio Estevez, a 54 year old homeless kidney patient who could not qualify for a transplant because he had no permanent address. Manhattan Times reports that the city came through and delivered the gift of shelter:

On Saturday Dec. 24, on “Nochebuena,” or Christmas Eve, Estevez, who’d been living with his family in a Bronx shelter for months, received keys to a new apartment in Washington Heights – keys which may very well save his life.

Estevez suffered a series of strokes in 2006 which kept him from his work as a tailor. Soon, he’d fallen behind on rent, and the father of two and his family were homeless. The Dominican-born U.S. citizen, who moved to the city in 1984, found housing in a Bronx homeless shelter, only to be diagnosed with end-stage renal disease two years ago.

Estevez, who is down to 24% kidney function, needs a transplant to save his life.

But New York Presbyterian in Washington Heights and Mount Sinai Medical Center in the Bronx, local medical institutions at which Estevez might receive a transplant and continued care, could not perform the transplant surgery.

Without a permanent home, the hospitals’ rules prohibit organ transplants for fear that the patients would be exposed to undue risk of infection or other complications that would endanger the patient – and the scarce, valuable resource that is a harvested organ.

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