Hispanic Heritage Month Profile: Two Year Old Boy from Puerto Rico Saved Through Liver Transplant

Gift of Life Donor Program

Maribel and Angel Rodriguez had a nice life in Puerto Rico. They were blessed with two beautiful sons, Queniel and Kenneth, and were a young, happy family. Queniel, their eldest son is now 10 and has been fortunate throughout his young life to have no health issues. His little brother, Kenneth, had a different experience.

From the time Kenneth was born, he faced health problems. He was jaundice and was originally misdiagnosed with Biliary Atresia as a baby, a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in infants. He underwent a surgery that proved unnecessary, and continued to get worse. He had phototherapy treatments and his parents made sure that he had the best care that was available. After the Rodriguez family saw no improvement in their son, they knew that they had exhausted their medical options in Puerto Rico.

After being told that there was a specialist in Philadelphia who may be able to help Kenneth, Maribel and Angel moved into action. Since a long stay trip to Philadelphia would be expensive, Maribel began researching where to stay and how they would be able to afford the journey. Her efforts led her to make an appearance on the television show Entre Nosotras, a popular show that often highlights real-life stories of people in need. Her participation in the show resulted in her receiving plane tickets for the entire Rodriguez family to come to the U.S. Continue reading