“Is your Father A U.S. Citizen?”

03-25-2007-052317PMSebastian Pacheco
Lancaster, PA

I will never forget the time when I was trying to save my father’s life. It was January 2006 and I called my father (he was 77) who lived in Puerto Rico. He retired as a Union Painter for a hospital in Bronx N.Y. for 30 years. He was not in the best of health following the death of his beloved wife. I offered him to stay with me so I can take care of him. With little resistance he agreed. I brought him to Long Island N.Y. to get the medical attention he needed with myself and my wife by his side. After many tests it was determined his body was shutting down, he would have only 6 months to live. I met with the hospital social worker and I was presented with little or no help for long term nursing. She knew the situation but still, the social worker asked with little empathy “is your father a U.S. Citizen?” My father did not reside in New York at that time and I knew what she was getting at. The social worker thought I was trying to get free medical and long term nursing care, because he resided in Puerto Rico. I looked at her with disgust and instead of correcting her I took the high road and simply answered her question “YES!” My father had medical insurance, pension, house, paid taxes, raised a Family in New York! He did receive some nursing care but it was with a fight. I felt very offended and that will always stay in my mind. Rest in Peace Mom and Dad.


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