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Minneapolis man cashes out his retirement to get his son out of a hospital in Mexico

The man's son was injured during a freak accident.

What's happening?

A Minneapolis father cashed out his retirement account in order to help get his son out of a hospital in Mexico City. 

Injured while on spring break

Michael Newell's son, Zachary, a grad student at the University of Minnesota, was in Mexico City for a spring vacation when on Mar. 8 he fell down a set of stairs, suffering injuries to his face that his father described as "lacerations" and "much trauma." 

In Mexico, the entire hospital bill must be paid before a patient is allowed to leave, and with costs upwards of $19,000 (USD), Newell set up a GoFundMe with a goal of reaching $25,000. As of this writing, the fundraiser had generated just over $14,000. 

In order to get his son out of the hospital in Mexico, Newell had to cash out his retirement, according to Fox 9

Finally got his son home

Newell posted on his Facebook page that he was finally able to get Zachary back to Minnesota on Sunday, Mar. 19, where he remains intubated and is in intensive care at University of Minnesota East Clinic.

They were flown by air ambulance from Tuluca, Mexico to Holman Field in St. Paul, and then taken to the U of M hospital with an emergency doctor and a specialist by their side.  

Health insurance issues

Another issue is that Newell's health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield wasn't covering an out-of-country medical expense, according to updates written on the GoFundMe account. 

But that changed when Fox 9 says it reached out to BCBS for answers.  

"Blue Cross Blue Shield faxed a declination of coverage, which will allow Zachary to use the travel insurance he purchased before the trip. It won’t pay for much of the large bill, but it helps."

It's unclear how much of the medical bill the insurance covered. 

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