His amazingly resourceful family brought him back. They found a hospital that accepted him without insurance. Antonio was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center in California. He is now thriving... and walking.
The NYT reports that the Phoenix hospital deports app. 8 patients a month. Some hospitals even deport U.S. citizens who have immigrant parents.
We recommend you read the entire article.
Deported in Coma, Saved Back in U.S.
New York TimesNovember 9, 2008
GILA BEND, Ariz. — Soon after Antonio Torres, a husky 19-year-old farmworker, suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident last June, a Phoenix hospital began making plans for his repatriation to Mexico.
IN PHOENIX Sister Margaret McBride, a vice president of St. Joseph’s, said, “We can’t keep someone forever.” More Photos »
Mr. Torres was comatose and connected to a ventilator. He was also a legal immigrant whose family lives and works in the purple alfalfa fields of this southwestern town. But he was uninsured. So the hospital disregarded the strenuous objections of his grief-stricken parents and sent Mr. Torres on a four-hour journey over the California border into Mexicali.
For days, Mr. Torres languished in a busy emergency room there, but his parents, Jesús and Gloria Torres, were not about to give up on him. Although many uninsured immigrants have been repatriated by American hospitals, few have seen their journey take the U-turn that the Torreses engineered for their son. They found a hospital in California willing to treat him, loaded him into a donated ambulance and drove him back into the United States as a potentially deadly infection raged through his system.
By summer’s end, despite the grimmest of prognoses from the hospital in Phoenix, Mr. Torres had not only survived but thrived. Newly discharged from rehabilitation in California, he was haltingly walking, talking and, hoisting his cane to his shoulder like a rifle, performing a silent, comic, effortful imitation of a marching soldier... more
New York Times articles on immigrants and health care
Getting Tough: A Somali Influx Unsettles Latino Meatpackers (October 16, 2008)
Getting Tough: States Take New Tack on Illegal Immigration (June 9, 2008)
Getting Tough: Employers Fight Tough Measures on Immigration (July 6, 2008)
Getting Tough: Immigrants Facing Deportation by U.S. Hospitals (August 3, 2008)