Doctor’s Orders: Send Undocumented Patient to Mexico - COLORLINES
Maria Sanchez is a 24-year-old undocumented woman who’s battling a banana-size tumor along her spine that’s crept between her vertebrae. The growth has left her unable to use her right hand and, if left untreated, could grow so large that doctors think she wouldn’t be able to breathe without having a tube inserted into her chest. But less than a week after being admitted to a Texas-area hospital to remove the tumor, Sanchez was discharged and reportedly told by doctors to go have surgery in Mexico.
Sanchez was admitted to a Galveston hospital on January 5 and soon transferred to University of Texas Medical Branch’s John Sealy Hospital. She stayed six days before she says a Spanish-speaking doctor told her to leave the hospital immediately because she was undocumented.
“They treated us like animals, like dogs or something,” Sanchez’s husband Luis Aguillon told the Houston Chronicle. “I even asked the social worker, where I can go, because a social worker is supposed to help people,” Aguillon recalled. “She said nowhere.”
Sanchez’s records show that she was dismissed without warning on January 12 because she was an “undocumented pt (patient) with no insurance.” The Chronicle reports that it was Sanchez’s inability to pay, not her legal status, that led the hospital to send her out in the streets