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By Mari Saito, Philadelphia Daily News
It could happen to anyone.
That was one of the messages expressed yesterday morning by Puerto Rican civil-rights activists to about 20 people gathered outside the emergency-room entrance at Aria Health’s Frankford campus.
Members of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights braved the cold and protested the lack of emergency care for Joaquin Rivera, 63, a beloved counselor at Olney High School and a cultural icon in Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community, who died at the hospital Nov. 28.
“It wasn’t just Joaquin who died in that room; it was the soul of the community that was dying in that room,” said Joe Garcia, president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the NCPRR.
The last hour of Rivera’s vibrant life was spent waiting in an emergency room at Aria Health, where he lay unconscious while nurses and security guards apparently forgot about him, authorities said.
“He lay there 79 minutes,” said Garcia. “This should not be happening in the United States.”
Rivera’s longtime friends also stood by the activists outside Aria Health, on Frankford Avenue near Harrison Street.
Former City Councilman Angel Ortiz choked back tears when he spoke about Rivera’s death.
Author: News Wire (24 Articles)