A nine-year-old boy from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was recently granted an extended visa to obtain medical treatment for a massive tumor growing on his neck. The family was originally given a 45-day visa, but when word of Jose’s condition reached New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, she was able to urge federal customs officials to extend their legal stay in the United States.
Jose and his parents will be able to travel back and forth between Mexico and New Mexico for up to a year so he can undergo a series of surgeries to treat mixed venous lymphangioma. Doctors at the University of New Mexico Hospital will remove the large fluid build-up from Jose’s neck, but he will still keep a permanent residence at home in Mexico.
“That way he can come back here for treatment and go back home so he can go to school,” said Denise Gutierrez, victim assistance coordinator for Homeland Security Investigations. “I refused to believe there was nothing we could do for this boy.”
The University of New Mexico Hospital and First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho have joined together to pay for Jose’s medical treatment and the family’s stay in the United States.
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