February 19, 2021

El Paso man receives kidney transplant in San Antonio, his family stuck with no water as he recovers

El Paso man receives kidney transplant in San Antonio, his family stuck with no water as he recovers


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — After three years searching for a new kidney, Omar Hernandez, a father of three, jumped on the opportunity when a friend finally was a match. However, he didn’t realize he’d be recovering from surgery in the middle of a major winter storm.

The Hernandez family drove to San Antonio, where they would do the transplant surgery on Feb. 11. Just a few days later, a crippling cold winter storm overtook Texas and left most parts of the state without power or water.

“It’s just pretty crazy over here,” Patty Hernandez, Omar’s wife, said. “It’s going to be a trip to remember — him getting the transplant and then us over here dealing with everything.”

Patty said she and their three kids have been waiting in a San Antonio hotel as Omar recovers in the hospital. Since the storm hit, the hotel now is out of running water and the family said they’re running low on food. She said the grocery stores have lines wrapping around the stores and shelves are cleaned out.

“We went to Walmart, there’s nothing, no meat, no milk, there’s no eggs, no waters, nothing,” Patty said.

The family has been going to the hotel swimming pool, taking buckets of water to use for plumbing when her husband and the family need to use the restroom.

“More than likely he’s going to have to, because he got his new kidney, he’s going to have to go to the restroom a lot, so that’s the plan,” she said.

Patty said she’s preparing for her husband to be discharged from the hospital on Friday, where he will have to finish his recovery in the hotel with limited resources.

“I have many concerns, his diet, he has to be on a strict diet so me, having a little bit of food and stuff like that, it’s just been crazy out here,” she said.

San Antonio Water System reported parts of the city would have their water restored late Thursday, while others on Friday and some possibly not until Sunday.

“We always find a way to manage and survive, so we’re doing okay; it’s kind of stressful, but we’re going to be okay,” Patty said.

The family said they’re supposed to check out on March 11, but they may need to stay longer as there were slight complications.


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