A Tulsa area couple may finally get to come home after being trapped by a medical emergency on their Mexican vacation.
They say this has been a traveler’s nightmare, and while they’re closer to being able to come home, this past week they weren’t so sure.
Dwayne Givens has been undergoing treatments in a hyperbaric chamber following a diving accident.
“It was kind of a freak accident,” said Skip Ennis, a friend of Dwayne and his wife Bernadette.
Ennis says Dwayne is being treated for bubbles in the blood, called DCS type 2 – a condition that can appear after a dive.
“We actually had dinner with them just about a week before they left,” said Ennis. “They told us they were going on this diving trip and, next thing we know, he’s had this accident and now they’re stuck.”
Bernadette Givens said via Facebook messages that the medical care has been great and Dwayne is on the mend, but the situation has been precarious.
She says during her husband’s care, she was told she would need to pay thousands in medical costs or they couldn’t leave.
In a Facebook post from Monday, she wrote, “I need to pay 20% today or I don’t know what will happen. The unknown is scary. Jail time is one of those options they informed me two days ago.”
Givens’ family has started a GoFundMe page hoping to collect enough money to get them home.
Givens says they have insurance, but that the clinic wanted the payment up front – a hazard of falling ill in a foreign country.
“It’s scary, it is scary,” said Ennis. “It makes you think twice about leaving the country.”
Now, Givens says she’ll think twice before traveling again.
Their insurance company says it is working diligently to manage the situation and get the couple home as soon as possible.
They encourage anyone, no matter who the provider is, to double check your insurance policies before leaving the country and always have an emergency plan in place.