NEW YORK (NEWS10) — The family of a New York man is asking for help with trying to get him home. Melson Garcia, 29, of Jamaica, Queens, suffered a medical emergency while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
Armando Ortiz, Garcia’s brother, said he has been in the hospital since Tuesday. The family arrived in the Dominican Republic for a vacation on Monday around 3 p.m. “It was his first time leaving the country,” said Ortiz.
The last time Ortiz saw Garcia was around 11 p.m. when they both went to their hotel rooms. The next day, Ortiz and the rest of the family didn’t hear from him at all. Around 5 p.m., security opened Garcia’s hotel room door to find him on the bed gasping for air.
Garcia was brought to the hospital, where he had to be resuscitated, intubated, and is now in a coma. There’s also swelling in his brain. Ortiz said that the hospitals in the Dominican Republic do not accept Garcia’s American health insurance. The family is also unsure if he has travel insurance as they can’t access his accounts.
For a one-night hospital stay, Ortiz said it’s $7,000 out-of-pocket. The family has connected with a hospital in New York, which said that they can’t fly Garcia back home until he’s in stable condition. Ortiz said it’ll be around $20,000 to $30,000 to fly him home if he’s stable, and $80,000 to $100,000 if he’s not.
“It’s been a legit nightmare,” said Ortiz.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with paying his medical bills and flying him back to the states. The fundraiser is aiming to raise $30,000. Ortiz is a DJ located in the Capital Region and he’s offered to DJ an event for free to the highest donor.
If you would like to donate, you can visit the GoFundMe website.