Organ Donor Mistake
The Hiller Instinct: Organ Donor Mistake
Seventeen-year-old Jessica Santillan is described as "near death" at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. It's unlikely she'll get a new heart and lungs to replace the ones inside her. Jessica and her parents moved here from Mexico, so she'd get lifesaving transplant surgery.
Magdalena Santillan, Jessica's Mother
"We have been waiting for this for three long years and for this to finally happen and for the doctors to make this mistake is unforgivable."
Jessica needed the transplant because she has a heart deformity. She has type-O blood, but she received type-A organs that were sent from Boston. The New England Organ Bank says their organization did everything right.
"A review of our medical files related to this case shows that correct blood type information was indeed provided by the New England Organ Bank to the transplant team in North Carolina."
Duke University has admitted the mistake, it's chief executive saying, "this was a tragic error and we accept responsibility for our part."
Mack Mahoney, Family friend
"My emotions have been up and down. I've been mad and I've been hurt. It's a terrible, terrible situation."
Duke has already vowed to implement new safeguards to protect against future transplant mistakes... But time is running out for Jessica.
She will likely die without a new transplant. But there's not much doctors can do at this point. Organs appropriate for Jessica's age and size rarely become available.