Mexican man allowed to seek emergency treatment at the Mayo Clinic
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The U.S. government has granted a temporary humanitarian visa to a Mexican man seeking life-saving treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
The mother of Jose Chua Lopez, 20, told the Associated Press this week that the government will allow him to stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days. Chua is seeking a double heart and liver transplant, a procedure not currently available in Mexico.
The AP notes that the humanitarian pass could be renewed if Chua is accepted for a transplant.
"They will evaluate if it is possible to operate, and in the case that it is, he will have to wait and live near the hospital until the organs arrive," said Kevin Forbes, director of Consejo de Latinos Unidos, according to the report. "It could be months or years of waiting."
Chua's temporary visa had previously been turned down twice before the U.S. government issued an emergency pass on humanitarian grounds.
The initial hospital visit is expected to cost around $15,000, according to a fundraising page set up for Chua. If he is able to go through with the procedure, the final bill could be somewhere around $2 million.
Chua's heart problems, which he has had since birth, have required four open-heart surgeries to date.
The first successful heart and liver transplant was conducted 30 years ago. The Mayo Clinic alone has performed about two dozen of the procedures since then, according to its website.
The median wait time at Mayo for patients needing a heart-liver transplant is about 6 months, with a range of 45 to 443 days.
Outcomes for patients requiring a heart-liver transplant are comparable to those of single-organ recipients. Nationwide, survival rates for the procedure are about 85 percent after one year and about 75 percent after five years, notes a report by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
(Cover photo: The Med City Beat)