April 23, 2011

Prisoner Transplant

Prisoner who raped teen may get transplant

Taxpayers would pay if Kenneth L. Pike, an inmate at Coxsackie Correctional Facility, is first inmate in New York state to get new heart.  An official for Mercy Flight Central, a nonprofit medical air services company, confirmed that they flew Pike, 55, to Strong Memorial from Albany Medical Center on Monday. 
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The average cost of a heart transplant -- from pre-surgery to procurement of the organ to immunosuppressants provided months after surgery -- was $787,000 in 2008, according to Milliman Research, a consulting firm. Taxpayers will pay for Pike's medical care.
Tina Woods, the former fiancee of Kenneth L. Pike, said the father of five of her children is at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester awaiting the potentially life-saving procedure.
Woods, who lives with five of her children in South Carolina, said she understand why some people think inmates shouldn't be eligible for transplant lists and others think taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for the procedure. She said her ex-fiance deserves the same medical care as everyone else, regardless of his past and who has to foot the bill.
"We're all humans," Woods said. "Everybody has sins, but everyone has family, too."
by BRYAN FITZGERALD Special to the Times Union 
Published 12:05 a.m., Saturday, April 23, 2011


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