Christmas came a day early for Octavio Estevez.
Estevez, 54, in the terminal stages of renal disease, is in dire need of a kidney.
For the last week, and long before, Estevez’s life has taken a series of dramatic, and sometimes harrowing, turns.
But this past Sat., Dec. 24th, on “Nochebuena,” or Christmas Eve, Estevez, who’d been living with his family in a Bronx shelter for months, received keys to a new apartment in Washington Heights – keys which may very well save his life.
For the past few months, Estevez has been pleading his case before the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), hoping to advance on the waiting list for housing he’d been placed on since August.
Estevez suffered a series of strokes in 2006 which kept him from his work as a tailor. Soon, he’d fallen behind on rent, and the father of two and his family were homeless. The Dominican-born U.S. citizen, who moved to the city in 1984, found housing in a Bronx homeless shelter, only to be diagnosed with end-stage renal disease two years ago.