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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Santillan Spokesperson Addresses Press

Aired February 20, 2003 - 14:06   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Live to Duke University Hospital now in North Carolina. Mack Mahoney, the family spokesperson for 17-year- old Jesica Santillan speaking now to reporters.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MACK MAHONEY, SANTILLAN FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: We have to make sure that children are tended to. You cannot hide behind a corporate veil or hide behind your bottom line when children's lives are at stake, and that's what's happened here.

As I said many times, we -- we're not after money. Money, we have. We don't need that. We're not trying to ruin Duke or hurt anybody. We don't want this to happen again. If you make a mistake, admit your mistake and take care of that child, and that should be the primary and first concern, is to take care of the child.

You don't let one lay there in a bed with the wrong organs laying in her for all that time when I had the -- the stage set for the whole world to come to her aid, and we could have found the organs in a short period of time had Duke just admitted the mistake a few days earlier, she would not be facing these complications. I think every doctor will tell you that. Now, that's all I got to say. Is there any questions from anybody?

QUESTION: Normal procedures were followed for another donor to be found. Are you convinced that these ties (ph) -- you came forward that she was put on this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) list?

MAHONEY: Yes, ma'am. I believe that if we hadn't put -- put them right square in the middle of the world stage that baby would have died. She would have not gotten...

PHILLIPS: Mack Mahoney, family spokesperson for the Santillan family. Just commenting -- obviously, a reporter asking about the issue of whether the family may sue the hospital or not. Mack Mahoney saying they are not going after money. They just want the mistake to be admitted to and move on and concentrate on the life of 17-year-old Jesica Santillan, who is now in critical condition after her second transplant operation.

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