The New York Times featured the Campos family as part of their Neediest Cases campaign. Below is an excerpt of the original story. A follow-up story with New Yorkers profiled in the campaign, including the Campos family, can be seen here.
A Lively Little Girl Needs a Kidney Donor
The Neediest Cases
by Jonathan Wolfe. December 30, 2015
The day that Edgar Campos brought his wife and newborn girl home from the hospital was bittersweet.
Mr. Campos was overjoyed to have his family under the same roof for the first time, especially his wife, Amalia, 24, who spent almost a week in the hospital with pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and potential organ damage.
“But that moment of happiness was very brief,” Mr. Campos, 29, said.
An hour after his wife arrived, he left to take his older daughter, Maria Guadalupe, 4, to the hospital for a medical procedure. “It was hard to leave those few minutes of happiness,” he said. “It was really very painful.”
Maria learned in April that she had kidney failure. There is no cure. The only remedies are dialysis, a temporary solution, or a kidney transplant. The trip to the hospital that day was to put in a catheter that would be used for her dialysis.
Mr. Campos graduated in June with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from New York City College of Technology, but he has had a difficult time finding employment.
“You have to be completely dedicated to your job, and sometimes I have to drop everything and take Maria Guadalupe to the hospital,” said Mr. Campos, who receives help with his job search from theCatholic Guild for the Blind. “It’s difficult because now we’re having economic problems.”
Mr. Campos and Maria each receive $750 a month in Supplemental Security Income, and the family receives $250 a month in food stamps. Their rent is $550 a month, and Mr. and Mrs. Campos share a cellphone.
Medicaid pays for most of the family’s medical expenses, and they receive nonfinancial support from the Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service, which provides social services for vulnerable East Harlem residents.
“I’m asking the public to help me,” Mrs. Campos added, shifting her newborn across her lap to wipe tears from her eyes. “Have pity on me as a mother. I don’t want to see my daughter suffer. Have pity on my daughter. One kidney can completely change her life.”