LaGrange woman on the way home from Dominican Republic after medical nightmare

The daughter of a woman stuck in the Dominican Republic after suffering a medical emergency tells FOX 5 she was on her way back to the United States.

She was expected back on U.S. soil by 2:30 a.m. Friday morning in Miami.

But the last few days have been ridden with anxiety for the family of 54-year-old Lorretta Cox from LaGrange. 

Her daughter, Aldes Brooks, says she got severely sick while on a cruise in the Dominican Republic.

"She was going back to her room just to get her asthma pump and she collapsed on her way to the room and couldn’t breathe," Brooks said.

The Carnival Cruise left her in the DR, where an ambulance took her to a local hospital's intensive care unit. 

She's been desperate to get her home ever since, shelling out tens of thousands of dollars.

"We’ve maxed out credit cards, we’ve done everything we could do to try to get her home," Brooks said.

Dominican doctors place LaGrange woman on ventilator

She said her mom’s lungs filled with fluid and doctors there had to place her on a ventilator.

But that was all doctors there could do for her. 

Lorretta Cox

Lorretta Cox (Supplied)

Since Tuesday, Brooks has been fighting to get her mom back stateside so doctors can do something to help her.

"If we keep her in the Dominican Republic, she won’t make it," she said. 

She said her mom does have insurance, but since she’s out of the country, the policy won't cover the expenses. 

That ambulance ride alone to that D.R. ICU was $28,000, she said. 

She anticipates the total cost of the emergency to exceed $100,000.

Now, she’s asking for donations as she maxes out credit cards to make sure her mom will be okay.

She has launched an online fundraiser to help cover the costs.

A warning while traveling abroad

Brooks urged people to get an international insurance plan while traveling abroad. 

"Make sure that the stuff is covered," she said. "Carnival, they did what they could, but they dropped them off and they kept going."

Carnival Cruise

Carnival Cruise (FOX )

The State Department says insurance varies widely, so you should carefully read the terms of an insurance policy to make sure it fits your needs. Before selecting travel insurance, make sure it covers:

  • The region(s) you will visit
  • Your duration of travel
  • Emergency medical care
  • Medical transport back to the United States
  • Travel/accommodation costs
  • Enough financial coverage for worst-case scenarios
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Activities you plan on engaging in

You should also make sure the insurance company has a 24-hour contact line, so that you and/or your medical provider overseas are able to reach the company if needed.