Local businesses band together for Lilly

Courtesy photo Lilly Machado

Thirty-three Globe-Miami businesses and counting have embraced a common goal; help Lilly Machado get a lifesaving surgery.

When St. Joseph’s Hospital discharged Machado because she couldn’t outright pay the $50,000 needed to schedule her surgery and couldn’t show collateral for the $450,000 needed after the surgery, the Globe business community went to work to help one of their own. “We are so proud of our community and how well we come together when a person is in need,” said Erica Salinas, co-owner of Salinas’ Smoke Street. “Lilly has been a blessing to our community and deserves a long life. She is a wonderful mother and wife. We love her dearly!”

Salinas’ Smoke Street is just one of many businesses offering up a portion of their proceeds to Lilly. There are various raffles going on, with schools, non-profits, clubs and at-home businesses all jumping in to raise funds. Visit Go Globe-Miami’s Facebook page for a full list of raffles, car washes and businesses donating proceeds. There is also a GoFundMe account that at press time has raised $89,000.

Lilly’s story

For almost 16 years, Lilly Machado has been waitressing at El Ranchito in Globe, Az. She knows everyone’s name and always cared for her customers’ welfare. Machado is a wife and mother of three children ages 19, 17 and 6.

When she started feeling weak and losing weight in February, the doctors weren’t sure what was wrong. Today Machado is so ill she has little to no strength left, and she is unaware if she will be able to receive a surgery that could save her life due to a lack of funds.

“My brain is not working properly due to the elevated levels of ammonia unfiltered in my body,” said Machado. “I was diagnosed with non-alcoholic cirrhosis. It comes from an issue with my immune system. It’s an autoimmune disease and it occurs when the body is attacking the organs and, in my case, the liver.”

Machado said that the size of her liver has been reduced to half of what it’s supposed to be, and it is full of scars. “My liver is working at 15 percent of its capacity and can stop working completely at any moment,” she said. “My worst fear is that I don’t have enough time to collect the funds and my health is going down slowly every day.”

Machado is no longer able to walk or complete everyday tasks. “It’s very hard on me because I’m normally a very independent person,” she said.

With only months to live, Machado was sent home on steroids and painkillers.

Dignity Health, owners of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, released the following statement to the media: “The organ transplantation process is incredibly complex, and there are a number of detailed nationally-applied criteria that must be followed. We strive to provide all our patients with the best possible care under the established criteria.” 

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