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Globe-Miami community helping woman pay for liver transplant

Posted at 10:53 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-25 17:20:31-04

41-year-old Lilly Machado needs a transplant to survive, after being diagnosed with non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.

“If I don’t get the money, I don’t get my surgery,” says Lilly Machado, Miami-area resident.

Lilly is a wife, mother of three, now left heartbroken and in tears. She says she was discharged from St. Joseph's Hospital with two options: pay $500,000 out-of-pocket or be admitted to hospice care. Lilly is on an emergency Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), which is Arizona’s Medicaid agency, but that will apparently not assist with the surgery cost.

"I feel like they kicked me out like I don’t deserve the opportunity to save my life," says Machado.

Lilly has worked as a waitress at El Ranchito restaurant over the past 15 years, making an impact on everyone she meets.

The entire community is coming together in support of Lilly, raising more than $50,000 already, the amount needed just to schedule the transplant.

"I felt it's my obligation, my honor to be part of this community and to help as much as we can," said John Wong, owner of Bloom, a restaurant and sushi bar in Globe.

“I live in this small town but they have big hearts. I just want to tell them how much I love my people and my community, and how grateful I'm going to be my whole life," says Machado.

ABC15 reached out to Dignity Health regarding St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. The provider told us they could not give specific details on Lilly’s case but provided us with a statement:

“The organ transplantation process is incredibly complex, and there are a number of detailed nationally-applied criteria that must be followed. We strive to provide all our patients with the best possible care under the established criteria.”

Lilly says doctors told her she only has up to three months to live. Her family is helping her as she continues to get weaker by the day.

“My mom has always been that type of person to take care of others before she takes care of herself. I said, 'you need to put yourself first mom,'” says Jacqueline Machado, daughter.

“I think about my little one coming over and giving me a hug, and I don’t want to lose the chance to see him like being a good citizen. I’m so proud of my oldest ones,” says Machado.

Lilly says there is a big fail in the medical system, which she hopes will change because she and others in the same situation have so much to live for.

“We don’t deserve that; we need to be treated like human beings," says Machado.

To help in the effort, donate here.