An Atlanta man claims he and his fiancée are being ‘held hostage’ in a Mexican hospital after he fell ill whilst on vacation and required $14,000 worth of medical care.
Stephen Johnson was on board a Carnival cruise ship last week when he was diagnosed with diabetes, pancreatitis and an acute kidney infection two days into the journey.
When the boat docked in the Mexican city of Progreso, two hours west of Cancun, doctors on board the vessel told Johnson that he required additional medical attention at a local hospital.
Accompanied by his fiancée, Tori Austin, Johnson rushed to a local medical facility where he spent three nights in intensive care, before being slapped with the five-figure bill.
When they were unable to pay the full amount on the spot, the couple claim the hospital barred them from leaving.
Johnson even shared snaps with Good Morning America on Friday purporting to show injuries he sustained while hospital administrators blocked them from exiting the premises.
‘We were physically assaulted by the administrative staff,’ Austin told the news program from her fiancé’s hospital room.
‘They were physically pushing on him!’ she added, before noting that workers inside the hospital have now ‘locked the windows’.
Austin says she and Johnson are grateful for the care they received and always intended to pay the $14, 260 in full.
Austin told GMA that she offered to pay $7000 upfront and was willing to work out a payment plan in order to cover the rest of the bill.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 22, 2019
Meanwhile, Johnson told CBS46 that he is in ‘hell’ and that he and Austin have no idea when they will be allowed to leave.
He added: ‘I very much so am a hostage. Don’t get sick and have to come to this hospital’.
According to GMA the couple has reached out to US officials who have provided them with a list of lawyers.
A GoFundMe set up by one of Johnson’s relatives has raised $710.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Andrew Court