Ricardo Nuila, The New Yorker
Geronimo Oregón was wheeled out of the intensive-care unit at Houston’s Ben Taub Hospital on April 17, 2016, his body wired with electrodes and his mother at his side. He had arrived in the emergency room six days earlier, complaining of confusion, stomach pain, and shortness of breath. Physicians had drained nearly half a gallon of fluid from around his right lung, corrected his sodium imbalance (a cause of his confusion), and relieved the worst of his pain. Now Oregón was being transferred to the step-down unit, a kind of limbo between the I.C.U. and the general ward. His new room had…

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