New Mexico teen dies of cancer after parents refuse treatment over lack of insurance

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A New Mexico teen died from cancer after his parents didn’t seek life-saving treatment for him until it was too late — because they didn’t have health insurance, authorities said.

Ramiro Miranda-Urias, 14, was 68 pounds and had an undiagnosed tumor that took up nearly the entire left side of his torso when he was brought to Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center on Sept. 7, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

He was transferred Thursday to another hospital in Alberquerque, where doctors determined that it would have taken six to twelve months for the cancer to reach such a severe stage, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The ninth-grade student died the same night, with doctors noting that he could’ve survived if got help sooner.

“He will die from this because his family didn’t bring him to care,” one doctor wrote, according to the court documents. “It’s hideous and atrocious. His mother has killed him.”

Police began an investigation in the wake of his death after the hospital alerted them about potential abuse.

His mom, Maria Urias-Astorga, 53, told authorities that she first noticed a bump about a month ago on the side of his head.

But his mom said she typically cared for him using herbal remedies and that they hadn’t taken him to the doctor in two years because they couldn’t afford to pay for health insurance.

The boy’s father, Ramiro Miranda-Quiñonez, 54, echoed similar sentiments about the boy’s health, adding that they rarely took their son to the doctor because he always seemed “fine.”

Maria Urias-Astorga (left) and Ramiro Miranda-Quiñonez (right)
Maria Urias-Astorga (left) and Ramiro Miranda-Quiñonez (right)Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility

Ramiro said he noticed the teen, who played basketball and attended dance classes, became more lethargic in May.

Then last month, he began complaining of knee and hip aches, prompting him to walk on his tiptoes to alleviate the pain.

The teen then began vomiting several times a day, losing weight and struggling to breathe, the outlets reported.

Soon, he was unable to walk and had to be carried from room to room, in addition to requiring assistance to go to the bathroom.

The mom also told authorities she noticed a bruise on her son’s chest Sept. 5, but that it didn’t seem worthy of medical attention.

Both of the parents were arrested Friday on a charge of child abuse resulting in death, the outlets reported. They remained in jail Monday each on $10,000 bond.

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