'Eduardo might die': 14-year-old returns to Houston for medical treatment after being deported

Briana Conner Image
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Mom, son return to Houston for medical treatment after being deported
Fourteen-year-old Eduardo Hernandez and his mother returned to Houston, Texas, for medical treatment after being deported to Mexico.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 14-year-old who was deported last week is back in Houston to receive the life-saving medical care he needs. Eduardo Hernandez spent a week in Mexico without treatment as his doctors, lawyers, and elected leaders worked to get him back to Texas Children's Hospital.

Eduardo has kidney failure and undergoes dialysis three times a week. He and his mother, who are immigrants, have been allowed to come back across the border for treatment temporarily.

A high-five and plenty of smiles were waiting on Eduardo after a week of missed dialysis treatments at Texas Children's Hospital. He and his mother are from Guatemala but were deported to Mexico last week. Officers in San Antonio who stopped her realized they were here illegally and executed warrants for deportation.

"They were following orders. They did not create the climate that necessitated their engagement," U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said.

Green worked with immigration attorneys and Eduardo's doctors to rush through a process that allows some people who aren't supposed to be in the country to stay here temporarily.

"In this case, the facts were so extreme and so dire that Eduardo, a 14-year-old boy who needed life-saving treatment, warranted that customs and border patrol officers grant him humanitarian parole from the border," Karina Jiminez, an immigration attorney, said.

Green rode with the Hernandez family from Eagle Pass to Houston overnight. Doctors there were waiting to admit Eduardo immediately for dialysis treatment that he did not have access to in Mexico.

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Dr. Michael Braun is Texas Children's Hospital's Chief of Pediatric Nephrology. Speaking of when Eduardo was in Mexico, Braun said, "There is a significant risk that Eduardo might die. We worry that every day was potentially going to be his very last day on earth."

The 14-year-old, through the hospital's charitable arm, now has guaranteed healthcare for the next two weeks. During that time period, Green said he'll push for an extension.

"I am going to do each and everything that I can when I go back to Washington to make sure that we can keep this child in this hospital so he can get his needs taken care of," Green said.

Doctors said Eduardo will need dialysis for life or until he can get a transplant. His mother, who usually goes to the hospital with him, did not speak to the news media.

However, she stood side by side with the Houstonians fighting for her son's health and immigration reform.

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