A 21-year-old Chicago woman suffering from kidney failure learned Wednesday morning a judge had halted deportation proceedings against her brother in order to give him time to donate a potentially life-saving organ.
"I've seen so many people pass away that started at the same time I started dialysis, and they're gone," Jazmin Longoria-Lara told NBC Chicago.
Her brother, 27-year-old Argenis Longoria, was set to be deported to Mexico after pleading guilty to a burglary. Instead, he was granted a six-month reprieve so he can undergo the necessary testing and preparation for the kidney transplant.
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"This is a blessing,” said Emma Lozano, the family’s pastor. "It’s a miracle, Jazmin has a new look on life. She’s going to be able to live."
Argenis Longoria remained in the McHenry County Jail on Wednesday evening but was scheduled to be released sometime Thursday morning. The family reunion was planned for Thursday afternoon at Lincoln United Methodist Church and will include a press conference where they'll discuss what's next and express their gratitude.
Longoria-Lara’s mother donated an organ to her daughter after a childhood disease resulted in kidney failure, but that kidney failed four years ago. Since then, she’s had to undergo dialysis for several hours, three times a week.
Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Luis Gutierrez both petitioned the judge to delay Longoria's deportation.