The husband is now on a ventilator in New Orleans
A family faced the harsh reality of traveling without being vaccinated after three members tested positive for COVID-19 before boarding their flight back to Louisiana.
Yolanda Comager says that she and two of her daughters had to leave her husband David — who is now intubated — and two other daughters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico after their tests came back positive.
Currently, the Center for Disease and Control recommends those traveling to the U.S. from a foreign country to be fully vaccinated. If not, they are required to take a viral test 1-3 days before their trip and then obtain another negative test before coming back.
The family took the test an hour before boarding and got the news.
A Louisiana man who was stuck in Mexico after he contracted COVID was airlifted back to the United States. https://t.co/uZwpuCP1AY
— WBRZ News (@WBRZ) August 15, 2021
“I just want to get my husband back over here,” Comager said to WBRZ 2. The mother was grappling with how to get her family back to Baton Rouge when things got worse.
“They charged him $3,700 to treat him on oxygen for 24 hours,” said Comager, who got a call about her husband’s condition after she and her daughters landed back in Baton Rouge.
Their insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core, would not cover the cost, she said.
“He called me in tears because he said that the hospital was refusing to treat him, and they kicked him out of the hospital because he didn’t have $12,000 to continue treatments,” she added.
Desperate to help her family, she found out that you do not need a negative test to travel by land from Mexico to the U.S.
The U.S. Embassy Consulates in Mexico states that foot travel between the U.S. and Mexico is limited to “essential travel” and reserved for U.S. citizens who are “traveling for tourism purposes, such as sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events in the United States.”
Comager booked a bus for David and their two daughters from Mexico to El Paso, Texas, where she was planned on picking them up. Until she got a call from her daughter that things had gotten worse.
“I was here two hours ahead of them, and then I got a phone call from my daughter saying that my husband was on the bus and he could not breathe,” she told the news outlet. He was taken to a hospital a few hours from the border, in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Monday was the last time she spoke to him, she said, and he was intubated shortly after.
“He said, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I just need you to know that I love you,’ and I said I love you, too,” Comager said. She added that he is scared because he does not know the language and wants to come home.
Shortly after, Comager found out that she tested positive for COVID-19 and is now quarantined in El Paso. This is her second time catching the virus.
One of her daughters in Baton Rouge also tested positive, while her two daughters in El Paso have flown home after testing negative.
She reached out to the U.S. Consulate and Louisiana senators while trying to get her husband back to the U.S.
On Saturday, David was flown in from Mexico to New Orleans, where he is still on a ventilator, but in stable condition.
Comager, who did not indicate any plans on getting vaccinated, says this incidence has already cost the family at least $15,000 out of pocket. They have since set up a GoFundMe to help cover the expenses.
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