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Quadriplegic sent to Mexico dies

  |   Jan. 4, 2012 at 11:10 AM
CHICAGO, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A young man returned to Mexico by a Chicago-area hospital after a construction injury that paralyzed him from the neck down has died, officials say.

Advocates say Quelino Ojeda Jimenez, 21, spent months in a small hospital in Mexico that did not have the facilities to care for a quadriplegic, the Chicago Tribune reported. He was transferred to the General Hospital of Juchitan a month before he died on New Year's Day, Jeromino Ramirez Luis, the new hospital's medical director, said.

"He never even made it to his home," said Jesus Vargas, a friend in Chicago. "He was always in the hospital stuck to the machine that helped him breathe."

Ojeda, who was working illegally in the United States, was treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., after a 20-foot fall paralyzed him. The hospital transferred him to Mexico three days before Christmas in 2010.

He told the Tribune in an interview last year that he did not want the transfer but was unable to speak as he was being wheeled to an air ambulance.

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