Illegal Immigrant Waiting For Transplant Dies

CLEVELAND (AP) - A Guatemalan illegal immigrant who was waiting for a liver transplant at the Cleveland Clinic has died.

Orilda Gramajo, 31, who lived in the city for 10 years, initially was excluded from a liver transplant waiting list because of her undocumented immigrant status and inability to pay for the procedure.

Her family got help from City Councilman Nelson Cintron Jr., U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio and Cuyahoga County commissioners, and the clinic reversed its decision.

Gramajo was waiting for a transplant when she died Friday and was struggling with infections that would have precluded it. The family was awaiting a determination of the cause of death.

Gramajo suffered from end-stage liver disease, the result of complications from an operation she had years ago in Guatemala, members of her family said.

Her three children, ages 3, 5 and 11, frequently visited her at the hospital during the last several months.

"She always had hopes of seeing her kids grow up," her sister-in-law Guanita Gramajo said. "She was a very peaceful, loving person."

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