RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - David Chavez gets his blood pressure taken at the Community Health Alliance regularly. Each week he visits the facility so they can check on his blood, his medicine, and how he is doing.
Back in 2002 David was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. That’s a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue in the body. In his case it's meant a defective heart and has had an impact on the major vessels to his heart.
“He hasn't been able to sleep. He has a lot of anxiety. He feels like he is going to throw up. Just because there are so many factors,” says an interpreter for David as he sits in an exam room at the health center.
But those restless nights have nothing to do with his medical problems.
Instead it has to do with his imminent deportation.
David arrived in Reno in 1986. He says he got a legal work card and worked in landscaping for decades. But a series of events -- a traffic citation, detention, misfiled paper work---all placed his work status in jeopardy. So much so he took refuge at a local church for five months last year.
He received a reprieve for a time. He says ICE contacted him two days ago, and said he has a hearing on Friday. A hearing that could deport him.
“I'm concerned he doesn't have access to the health care he has here. You can't be on a blood thinner if you are not monitored and if you aren't going to be monitored it is a vicious cycle. So yeah, my understanding it is a death sentence,” says Brooke Walker, a nurse practitioner at Community Health.
Walker had to take David’s blood and monitor is medicine every day while he stayed at her church last year. David's doctors and others have submitted medical affidavits and character letter to let authorities know just how grave this INS decision will be.