Fidel Lobato, owner of Burritos Y Mas, poses for a photo Thursday outside of Burritos Y Mas in Farmington. (Alexa Rogals — The Daily Times)
FARMINGTON — Fidel Lobato didn't understand the importance of organ donation until he needed a new liver.
But he is thankful for the one he received from an unknown California resident that saved his life after he was diagnosed with liver cancer.
"You never really give it a lot of thought until it becomes personal," Lobato said. "Then you think, 'Thank God there are people willing to donate.'"
The owner of the Burritos Y Mas restaurants in Aztec and Farmington and former owner of Valley Auto Body, Lobato underwent a liver transplant operation on April 20 at the Banner — University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz.
It was his second attempt at finding a compatible liver after missing a chance six days earlier, when Lobato was 11 hours away in Alamosa, Colo., and it was clear he wouldn't make it in time for the liver to be useful.
Lobato waited on the liver transplant list for about three years after he was diagnosed in March 2012. He was being examined for blood in his urine when doctors noticed lesions on his liver during an MRI scan. Continue reading
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