17 y/o girl who received wrong organs gets a second chance - page 6

DURHAM, N.C. (Feb. 20) - Doctors located an organ donor early Thursday for a 17-year-old girl clinging to life after she received a heart and lungs that didn't match her blood type, a spokeswoman... Read More

  1. by   Q.
    With regards to this "spokesperson," I have a question. Every time I read an article about the story, this Mahoney is quoted as saying that the doctors "were too concerned with their images and wasted precious time in finding replacement organs." Personally I think it's remarkable that they found organs in less than 2 weeks, but anyway....
    Do Jesica's parents speak English? Does Mahoney speak Spanish? Is he translating for them?
    I have concerns with this Mahoney because he seems to be the one pressing on with criminal prosecution for the transplant team, calling them "murderers." Does he perhaps have an interest in this that we don't know about? What's the history with this dude?
  2. by   MishlB
    Originally posted by mattsmom81
    SJoe we will probably be accused of cynicism but I reacted the same as you...they are here illegally and probably receiving food stamps and on public assistance. I can think of better uses for my tax dollars today.

    I also have no tolerance for people in our country illegally anymore since 911....we need to stop being so 'caring' regarding illegals. She is a lovely child and I wish her the best but we need to start saying no, IMHO. I would not be surprised to find our tax dollars helped fund this surgery in the first place, as the government is too free with the taxpayers' $ IMO.

    Gotta also admit I wondered who got killed (or what else illegal happened) to get these organs so fast...but I am more than a litle cynical towards the whole organ donation process...as I've had bad experiences with organ/tissue banks and their very proprietary attitudes towards the newly dead. It troubles me.

    My prayers are with this girl and I hope she recovers.
    I received food stamps and was on public assistance...and??? How nice of you to include her in your prayers. Hypocrite.
  3. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by Susy K
    What's the history with this dude?
    Here are a coupla links i found....still quite odd IMHO....

    http://www.herald-sun.com/durham/4-323516.html ... Advocate made girl his cause .... -- With his raspy voice and a white Panama hat permanently atop his head, Mack Mahoney made international news this week, challenging Duke University Hospital to explain how it transplanted a heart and lungs of the wrong blood type into 17-year-old Jesica Santillan.

    Mahoney, a Louisburg homebuilder, has grown to love the Mexican teenager like a granddaughter since reading about her in his local paper. Three years ago, he started a charity in her name to help the families of critically ill children.....

    Or maybe the Vietnam War veteran, who had part of his larynx removed during throat cancer surgery, knows what it's like to face death.

    He was discharged days before the Tet Offensive and watched on television as the Viet Cong overran U.S. positions where he knew his friends were stationed. He and his wife, Nita, also lost a child more than 20 years ago, a death they attribute, along with the cancer, to Mahoney's exposure to Agent Orange.

    ....."I've never gone to Mack's house without Jesica being there," said Gil Silva, a Louisburg businessman who helped him start the charity. "He is very close to all of the children, but because she was the first one, she's actually like a grandchild to him."

    Mahoney has two daughters and three grandchildren of his own. All help with the charity.

    The Dallas, Texas, native moved to Louisburg about seven years ago. He is not a millionaire and drives a pickup truck, he and his friends said. Still, Mahoney has given tens of thousands of dollars of his own money for Santillan's care.

    The first campaign for Santillan was to raise $7,000 for a cardiac exam to diagnose her then-unknown condition. Mahoney and his wife "came out of the woodwork" to help, said Gary Cunard, publisher of the Franklin Times.

    "It has become their cause, their reason for being," he said. "[Mahoney] just wanted to help this little child."

    In one of its first reports, the paper wrote how Santillan's family lived in a mobile home without a telephone or air conditioning, Cunard said.

    "I think that was the first thing Mack Mahoney did, went out there and had an AC [unit] in that mobile home."


    Home Builder Champions Transplant Teen


    Associated Press Writer

    February 22, 2003, 2:12 AM EST

    DURHAM, N.C. -- Two decades ago, Mack Mahoney lost his 2-month-old son, Anthony, after an operation to correct a kidney defect. He felt the operation was botched, but didn't see the sense in taking any action.

    This time around, Mahoney refuses to stay silent. ....
    His involvement with Jesica started with what was supposed to have been an anonymous donation to help pay her medical bills. But when the family insisted on meeting him, Mahoney became the point man in the effort to raise money for Jesica's care.

    Now, a man who nearly lost his voice to a false diagnosis of throat cancer has become the mouthpiece for a family struggling to communicate in a foreign tongue.

    "Nobody else can fight for her," said Mahoney, who was left with a gravely whisper after losing half his larynx. "Her family does not speak English. They can bully them around and do all they want to, and I just refuse to let them bully me. That's the difference.

    "I don't bully. And they can't intimidate me, because I don't intimidate." ......

    Mahoney managed Elizabeth Dole's Senate campaign in Franklin County last year, and he reached out to her for help with Jesica's case.

    "They gutted her like a fish," he told Dole tearfully.

    While Mahoney was having a contentious meeting with the Duke brass, Dole called him on his cell phone and asked to speak to the hospital's top administrator.

    Until then, he said, Duke was trying to find ways to get around his medical power of attorney and had threatened to kick him out of the hospital.

    "He is a tough guy," says Renee McCormick, a land developer who is helping Mahoney. "This is not a guy who cries. ... Mack has lived this ordeal with her for three years."

    Jesica's mother, Magdalena, has said that without Mahoney to raise a fuss, Duke would have let Jesica quietly die. McCormick agrees.

    "I think she would have died from rejection, and no one would have known why," she says.

    Mahoney learned Spanish growing up near Dallas and running a business in Mexico. He spends his days in the pediatric intensive care unit, translating for the Santillans and comforting them.....
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Originally posted by MishlB
    I received food stamps and was on public assistance...and??? How nice of you to include her in your prayers. Hypocrite.
    And that of course would be YOUR opinion, right?

  5. by   SharonH, RN
    Originally posted by sunnygirl272
    Here are a coupla links i found....still quite odd IMHO....

    What is so odd about it? He is an individual who has decided to assist and advocate for others who may not be able to do so for themselves. And apparently he has developed a mistrust of the health care system that is well-founded based on personal experience. It seems that many are determined to find a problem with this case. It turned that our precious tax dollars were not funding the operation, that they were here legally with the help of one America's least compassionate senators nonetheless, that immigrants are limited to only receiving 5% of transplant operations and people are still unhappy. Now they don't like the Mahoney guy. Sheesh.
  6. by   ktwlpn
    It's just been announced that she has been removed from life support.The family refused to donate any of her organs....
  7. by   Q.
    Originally posted by SharonMH31
    Now they don't like the Mahoney guy. Sheesh.
    They? You mean me questioning the history of Mahoney? I don't think that is "not liking" the man. I think it's simply questioning if he has any other motives besides altruistic ones. And asking if he is translating is a legit question - not to mention if it's true, an ethical one at best.
  8. by   emily_mom
    But how many of her organs do you think are viable? I'm sure there were some, but maybe because of what happened.....

    They will sue the hospital for all their worth (thanks to their advocate) and go home and give it to all of their relatives.

    It is truly sad though. I'm glad that wasn't my family member.

  9. by   Furball
    Her cornea's and skin would've been ok? I don't know. They probably aren't thinking very clearly in their grief and anger.
  10. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by emily_mom
    But how many of her organs do you think are viable? I'm sure there were some, but maybe because of what happened.....
    i think it's hypocritical of them to choose now to not give anything...seems like a few piecesparts mighta been usable....
  11. by   bestblondRN
    Originally posted by Susy K
    They? You mean me questioning the history of Mahoney? I don't think that is "not liking" the man. I think it's simply questioning if he has any other motives besides altruistic ones. And asking if he is translating is a legit question - not to mention if it's true, an ethical one at best.
    Thank you, Susy.......I think these issues should be questioned. He just seems to be a little too zealous in his need to attack the physicians and the hospital, not to mention his emotional and inaccurate statements about life support ruining all the major organ systems. I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the news tonight talking about how the Duke staff murdered her.

    I'm sure we've all either been involved in or heard about medical botches, but the hospital is owning this one. I am not minimizing the loss this family and her friends feel, but I have to agree with mattsmom on this one--cerebral hemorrhage and the resulting swelling is a complication of the surgery, and they should have known that before Jesica had her surgery. This whole thing is laden with ethical and practice issues, but the fact remains that she was at high risk going into surgery the first time.
  12. by   nurs4kids
    She died. Very sad. My heart goes out to the family.

    BUT, I have a real problem with a few things here..

    First of all, I, like other's here, have watched numerous AMERICAN children die while awaiting organ transplant. Children of the AMERICAN WORKING CLASS. Dang straight I have a problem with us giving organs to immigrants (legal OR illegal) while our own children die.

    Whether she was legal or illegal at the time of the operation is mute to me. She was ILLEGALLY smuggled into MY country and in my opinion, stole the life from two other Americans. May have been the child I cared for today. The child of hard working Americans. The child whose parent's have mediocre healthcare coverage. Their crime? Being born American and playing by the rules.

    The next BIG problem I have with this whole thing is that the parents had the gall to refuse to donate organs. Their "state of mind" is of no excuse at this moment. These people have known the odds for this child for years now. These people KNOW the importance of organ donation. Their child was given, not one, but TWO sets of organs and they have the undecency to refuse organ donation??!!! THAT in itself tells me about all I need to know about them. Selfish.

    And with that said..I also have a right to be selfish. I want to see MY country take care of its own citizens before they take on the world.

    As for those who are in favor of this family obtaining a large settlement..
    when OUR healthcare premiums rise beyond our paying capability..
    remember, your bleeding heart supported one of the lawsuits that was instrumental in driving the cost of healthcare from the point of affordable to the point of unobtainable. The money to "compensate" this family WILL eventually be passed onto the taxpayer..one way or another.

    Just proof once again..
    If we'd have sent her and her family back as soon as we found they were illegal, everyone would be better off. She'd still be alive (right???), we wouldn't be facing a major lawsuit and two more AMERICANS on the transplant list would probably have their organs by now.
  13. by   baseline
    nurs4kids......well stated.