MIAMI — Maria DeSillers, sued by a hospital for non-payment of bills from her son's multiple liver transplants, admitted Wednesday she used some of $450,000 in donations for other purposes but called the transactions legitimate.
DeSillers also claimed that Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh overcharged her and refused to show her the medical records of her 7-year-old son, Ronnie, who died April 29 while awaiting a fourth donor liver.
"Because $400,000 was donated to Ronnie doesn't mean they should charge $400,000," she said.
DeSillers said $450,000, including $1,000 from President Reagan, was donated for medical bills incurred by Ronnie. She said she made an initial payment of $163,000 out of the donations and about $196,000 remains in a bank account.
DeSillers said she used at least $65,000 of the donations to help other children who needed organ transplants, but could not account for the rest of the money, saying it was used for other similar expenses.