Donations Pour In For Couple ‘Held Hostage’ In Mexico Hospital Over Bill Dispute
By Parker Diakite
Donations are pouring in for an Atlanta couple who are reportedly stranded in a Mexican hospital over a billing dispute.
What was supposed to be a dream vacation for Tori Austin and her fiance Stephen Johnson, has turned into the couple’s worst nightmare.
The duo departed Galveston, Texas on a Carnival cruise ship en route to Cancun when shortly after getting onboard, Johnson became severely ill. He was diagnosed with Pancreatitis and Diabetes, and fell into a diabetic coma, according to Austin. She told CBS 46 Atlanta that the cruise line recommended immediate medical treatment in the Mexican port city of Progreso, located about two hours from Cancun.
Johnson was stabilized in the hospital after receiving medical treatment but he’s reportedly uninsured and unable to pay the $14,000 medical bill.
Both Austin and Johnson told the hospital staff that they would make payments on the bill once back in the United States, but Austin said the hospital refused to let them leave by locking the doors and threatening to call the police if they tried to leave.
Austin called the incident a “hostage situation” on Facebook and said the hospital even got physical.
Their story has prompted donations to help get the couple home.
In an emotional video on Facebook, Austin thanked everyone for their support.
“We’re coming home,” Austin said in the video. “I want to thank everyone who donated to our Go Fund Me. God is good. Someone offered to pay for our whole bill.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the couple is still in Mexico awaiting the donation from the donor who offered to pay the bill in full.
This story is developing.