Rochester, N.Y - There are 49 people on the waiting list for a new heart at Strong Memorial Hospital.
13WHAM News has learned that a convicted rapist serving up to 40 years in prison, is being evaluated for a possible heart transplant.
Kenneth Pike, 55, was convicted in 1996 of raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl in Auburn, N.Y. He is serving his sentence at a state prison in Greene County.
Law Enforcement sources indicated that Pike was flown by Mercyflight to Strong last week and is being evaluated for a heart transplant.
Patient Information, a service at Strong Hospital, confirmed they have a patient by the name of Kenneth Pike who is in guarded condition.
Strong Hospital would not comment, citing HIPPA Privacy laws. The New York State Department of Corrections also declined comment.
13WHAM News also learned Pike is under 24 hour watch by Corrections Officers at Strong Hospital.
Strong Hospital did release a statement saying it is ethically responsible to treat all people in need of care. That statement goes on to say: "Strong Hospital doctors, nurses and staff members are committed to providing that care without discrimination. We believe in and follow the organ allocation policies and guidelines of the federally regulated OPTN/United Network for Organ Sharing, which ensures equal consideration for transplantation and access to donated organs."
A heart transplant costs over $800,000. Though most insurance companies cover the procedure, it would be taxpayers in New York who would pay if a state inmate were to receive this surgery.
State Corrections Officials say four other inmates in past years have received kidney or liver transplants; 7 others had bone marrow transplants.