The teen received organs of the wrong blood type.

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Three months after Jesica Santillan’s botched heart-lung transplant, Duke University Hospital announced a $4 million fund in her memory Thursday to help families of other young Hispanic patients.

“Jesica’s sad outcome profoundly affected all of us at Duke,” said Dr. Ralph Snyderman, head of Duke’s health system. “It is especially appropriate that Duke Hospital create a significant fund that will help keep Jesica’s memory alive forever.” Santillan, a 17-year-old smuggled across the border from Mexico in hopes of receiving better medical care, died Feb. 22 after a second heart-lung transplant. The first transplant involved organs of the wrong blood type.

Procedural errors have been blamed for the mistake. Duke officials have said the transplant surgeon also wrongly assumed donated organs for the first transplant matched Jesica’s blood type.

The fund will help provide support services such as temporary housing, food and interpreters to families of young Hispanic patients at the hospital.

Snyderman said concerns about possible legal action didn’t drive creation of the fund. “We have not discussed this with attorneys,” he said.

Duke University President Nan Keohane and several clergy members met with Santillan’s mother last month to discuss a way to honor the teenager. Her mother endorsed the fund’s creation.

“This is a wonderful idea because members of the Latino community face special cultural and language barriers,” Armando Ortiz-Rocha with the Mexican consul in North Carolina. “The government of Mexico considers the creation of this fund as a major step in paying tribute to Jesica’s memory.”

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