Husband who was intubated and stuck in Mexico airlifted back to La.
UPDATE: On August 14, Yolanda Comager was able to get her husband back to Louisiana.
David was flown from Mexico to Ochsner in New Orleans. He is on a ventilator but doctors tell his wife, Yolanda, that they will soon start weaning him off of sedation.
Yolanda drove back to Baton Rouge from El Paso. She is thankful for the outpouring of support and is hopeful her husband will get better soon.
Read the original story below:
EL PASO, TX - A family's trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, turned into an absolute nightmare when three of them tested positive for COVID-19 before boarding their flight home to Baton Rouge.
Yolanda Comager says her husband is on a breathing machine after testing positive. He and two of their daughters were not allowed to fly home. Now, Comager is back in the states facing a whole other set of problems.
Currently, air passengers traveling to the United States are required to have a negative COVID test before they board a plane. Comager says they were tested about an hour before boarding. That's when they got the bad news.
"I just want to get my husband back over here," she said.
Comager flew back to Baton Rouge with their other daughter to try and find a way to get them all home. But things got bad quickly for her husband, who went to get checked out at a nearby hospital and was placed on oxygen.
"They charged him $3,700 to treat him on oxygen for 24 hours," Comager said.
She says their insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core, would not cover the costs.
"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 said.
Comager found out that they did not need a negative COVID-19 test to travel by land and booked her husband and two daughters on a bus to El Paso, TX. She then hopped in a car and drove by herself to Texas to pick up her family. But while on the bus to Texas, her husband got 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," Comager said.
Comager says it was communicated to the bus driver what was happening and an ambulance was called.
"I had no intentions to infect anybody, but you know, when you're put in tough situation you have a fight or flight instinct and that's what kicked in," she said.
He was taken to a hospital in Chihuahua, Mexico, a few hours from the border.
Monday is the last time she spoke with him, right before he was intubated. Comager says her husband is scared. He doesn't know the language, and he just wants to come home.
"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."
A couple of days ago, Comager tested positive and is now stuck in a hotel room in El Paso. Her other daughter, who is home in Baton Rouge, is also COVID-19 positive. Her two other daughters who were in Mexico have since tested negative and flew home.
Comager is now on a mission to get her husband home for care in the United States. She's been in touch with the U.S. Consulate and Louisiana senators, but so far she has not gotten her husband back to U.S. soil.
Comager says this is her second time getting COVID-19. The couple has not been vaccinated yet. She says she was advised to wait 90 days before receiving hers. Comager says she had discussed getting the shot with her husband but he did not get vaccinated before they left for Mexico.
To add to the difficult journey, Comager says there are no phones at the hospital. She has not been able to speak with anyone there for an update. The last she heard, her husband was in stable condition.
Because their insurance is not covering the cost of his care, she estimates they have spent at least $15,000 out of pocket already.
There is a GoFundMe account set up to help cover costs.