Missionary Being Held in Juarez Hospital
POSTED: Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 4:51am
JUAREZ--- A New York man is pleading to have his missionary son released from a Juarez hospital.
"I have my son, he's a US citizen, he's a hostage basically," said Gary Jackson, whose son, Josiah Jackson, is being detained at the Hospital Poliplaza Medica.
Jackson, in Chihuahua as a missionary helping children in hospitals, was seriously hurt in a car crash February.
Thanks to doctors at the hospital, he's been stabilized, and is now recovering from his wounds.
"He broke his hips in two spots, and broke his tail bone. So it requires him to lay on his back for the next three months," said his father.
Jackson also suffered trauma to his face, causing him to receives dozens of stitches to keep his jaw held together.
But now staff at Poliplaza Medica won't let him be transferred to the University Medical Center in El Paso, where family members say he's been approved for admittal, because he can't pay his bill.
"But still on his bill is remaining $34,000, and the hospital just refuses to release him," said Gary.
The hospital doesn't take foreign insurance, or U.S. Medicaid, and Josiah's family has already given $11,000 plus $5,000 from the at-fault driver's insurance, said Gary.
Hospital staff refused to talk to our camera crew, but we're told they even refused to save Josiah if they didn't get the cash, said Gary.
"Unless they had payment, you know, had some money there right away, in 15 minutes actually, Josiah wasn't going to get what turned out to be a life-saving operation for him," said Gary.
But what's worse... gary says... is that no one will help, not even the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, said Gary.
"To see my son, I had to walk by 6 armed guards with machine guns in a hospital. I mean, it's a frightening situation," said Gary.
No response from the consulate Thursday night.
We're told by the Jackson family that they've only been able to raise another $1,500 to get Josiah out.
Doctors at the hospital told the family they were willing to drop their fees, leaving only $18,000 left to pay, said Gary.