A cancer-stricken 9/11 first responder who testified alongside Jon Stewart at last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorizing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is now in hospice care.
Lou Alvarez, a 53-year-old former NYPD bomb squad detective who appeared with other first responders at the Capitol, said in a Facebook post Wednesday that doctors informed him that his condition had worsened and there is “nothing else” they can do for him.
“The day after my trip I was scheduled for chemo, but the nurse noticed I was disoriented,” he wrote. “A few tests later they realized that my liver had completely shut down because of the tumors and wasn’t cleaning out the toxins in my body and it was filling up with ammonia, hence the disorientation.”
Alvarez, who has colorectal cancer, told the House subcommittee on June 11 that he agreed to testify despite having his 69th round of chemotherapy scheduled for the next day.
“You made me come down here the day before my 69th round of chemo,” Alvarez told lawmakers. “And I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.”
Stewart, who spoke after Alvarez, made an impassioned plea for Congress to reauthorize the fund, which is set to expire next year amid mounting claims from first responders, construction workers and others involved in operations at Ground Zero up through May 30, 2002.
“I’m sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic,” Stewart said. “I am angry, and you should be too.”
The subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has 14 members, but fewer than half were present in the room at various points during his emotional testimony.
And the former host of Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” berated those who failed to show up to the hearing.
“Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak — to no one,” Stewart said. “Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution.”
In his Facebook post, Alvarez said his transfer to hospice care “had nothing” to do with his trip to Washington, D.C. “That was just coincidence,” he wrote.
Alvarez added: “So now I’m resting and I’m at peace. I will continue to fight until the Good Lord decides it’s time.”
Read more from Yahoo News: