Puerto Rico’s Slow-Going Recovery Means New Hardship For Dialysis Patients

(By Carmen Heredia Rodriguez for Kaiser Health News)

VIEQUES, Puerto Rico — As the cry of a rooster heralded the dawn, Joe Garcia, 41, pulled a vial of insulin from the fridge. He filled a syringe and wrapped it in aluminum foil in preparation for the long day ahead.

“I tell him that from here to there, that’ll spoil,” said his mother, Martina Collazo de Jesus, 63, watching the preparations under the fluorescent bulb lighting the family kitchen.

It is a gamble Garcia, who has both diabetes and kidney failure, has taken since Hurricane Maria slammed this Puerto Rican island just east of the main island. More than six months after the storm, Garcia and 13 other Vieques residents must still board a plane three days a week for kidney dialysis on Puerto Rico’s main island. Continue reading article here…

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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