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Film Update

The lack of health insurance put Joe Stornaiuolo, Karen Dove, Hector Cardenas and Carlos Benitez in dire straits during Critical Condition. What has happened to the characters and their families since filming ended?

  • September 30, 2008
Critical Condition: Dale Stornaiuolo

After her husband Joe's death, Dale Stornaiuolo is struggling to raise her granddaughter alone. She continues to blame Joe's lack of insurance for his premature death.



Critical Condition: Karen Dove

Karen Dove experienced a recurrence of her cancer in the fall of 2007. Instead of undergoing another round of chemotherapy sessions, Karen opted to try an oral chemo drug protocol instead. She suffered an adverse side effect and had to be hospitalized when her body lost all of its sodium. While she was in an induced coma, she contracted pneumonia and died on March 30th, 2008.

Critical Condition: Hector Cardenas

Hector Cardenas qualified for Social Security Disability and Medicare in December, 2007, two years after his amputation. With Medicare, he was able to get a permanent prosthesis and reports that he's able to get around with much greater ease and comfort. He's currently living in the same motel and looking for a less physically stressful job.

Critical Condition: Carlos Benitez

Carlos Benitez is now four inches taller and is out of pain for the first time in fifteen years. He is able to enjoy his newly acquired ability to play with his four children, and says, "I'm very pleased that I've gotten a second chance at life." About three months after his surgery Carlos returned to work, but he still has no health insurance. The policy offered at his job is still too expensive for him, and in light of his documented pre-existing condition, Carlos thinks it would be even more expensive than before his operation.





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