Heartless no more

Victor and his wife Estella say that his heart condition has been particularly difficult for their two young daughters, Ailin, 10, and Yaretzi, 5.

These are the words I wrote in November 2018 when I asked for your help to save the life of Victor, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who needed a heart transplant:

Unfortunately for Victor and his family, they live in what has become a pretty heartless and greedy country, where people like him are expected to simply give up and die, even though his condition is quite treatable. 

So, what exactly is it about Victor that makes him deserving of such horrendous treatment? Apparently, it’s because he’s brown, economically strapped and doesn’t have a Social Security number… How can the richest country in the world watch this father and husband wilt away just because he can’t come up with $10,000? What great nation would withhold lifesaving medical care just because a person doesn’t have the proper paperwork? 

Fighting Trumpism, arguing about the merits of the Affordable Care Act or getting angry listening to Rachel Maddow describe how kids are being torn from their mothers’ arms at the border can’t save Victor. But we likely can. 

What if we all just slow down and think a little smaller for a while? What if we stop being angry and just help one of our neighbors in need? If you can’t think of anyone to help, I’d like to suggest Victor.

Well, you did it. In less than four days you, our readers, Victor’s neighbors, donated the $10,000 he needed to get the private insurance that got him on the heart transplant list. And I’ve never been happier to write anything in my life than this next paragraph. 

Last month Victor received a new heart via transplant and is doing really well post-surgery. His children will now grow up knowing their father and his wife will continue to have the love of her life with her every day going forward. The family is still strapped for cash because they need insurance for at least another year while Victor heals before being able to return to work, but they are all together and once again have a future.

Put a smile on your face, Boulder Weekly readers, you did a really good thing at a time when the madness of the world seemed to be threatening to make “happily ever after” a thing of the past. Today is a good day.