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Arizona waitress loved by community dies after liver transplant

By David Caltabiano

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    GLOBE, Arizona (KTVK, KPHO) — We have an update to a story Arizona’s Family first told you about in September when the Globe-Miami community raised more than $100,000 for a local waitress in desperate need of a liver transplant. Sadly, the restaurant owners of El Ranchito Cafe in Globe reported that Lilly Machado died on Tuesday.

Machado went to Mexico with the donated funds to get the liver transplant in September after she said she couldn’t afford the surgery in the states. The restaurant owners said she ended up getting the procedure last week, but unfortunately, Machado’s body rejected the organ and passed away on Tuesday.

“Thank you for all of the people downtown,” Machado said in September before heading to Mexico for a transplant. The hardworking waitress and mother of three had non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.

“You don’t have to know Lilly personally just to know she was a good person,” said Kiana Thompson, who is one of the many people in the Globe-Miami area devastated to see Lilly pass. “It’s tragic what happened, but I always try to remember the good moments.”

According to national data, there’s an 89% survival rate after the first year for liver transplant recipients. Right now, there are a little more than 11,000 candidates on the waiting list for a new liver, and last year there were more than 9,000 transplants performed in the U.S, the most ever in a single year. Back to Thompson, she’s choosing to remember how Lilly lived and not how she died. “I think to remember her is to remember the good things about her, you know, she always had a smile, and that’s what I remember,” said Thompson.

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