Family trying to arrange air ambulance to get man stricken with COVID back to Minnesota

He was diagnosed with COVID-19 just before he was set to return home to Minnesota.
Publish date:

Stricken with a severe COVID-19 infection while visiting family in Guatemala, a Minnesota man's family is trying to orchestrate an air ambulance to bring their loved one home. 

César Cruz is currently intubated and in critical condition at a hospital in Antigua. He took the trip to visiting family in Guatemala for Easter, seeing them for the first time in several years, according to his CaringBridge page. He fell ill just days before he was scheduled to return to Minnesota. His condition then rapidly worsened. 

"Two days before he was supposed to fly back to MN, he was diagnosed with COVID. He initially had a cough — but within a few days was not able to breathe very well, was in communication with a Guatemalan doctor via Skype, and was provided with an oxygen tank. He was not able to maintain a satisfactory oxygen level and was taken via ambulance to a public hospital in Antigua, Guatemala. There the medical staff continued his oxygen therapy as well as Remdesivir, but he did not respond as hoped to this treatment. On April 23, he was put on a ventilator and on April 26 he was intubated and is now unconscious."

Cruz is in need of enhanced care that he cannot get in Guatemala, a CaringBridge update explains. His family is now trying to arrange an air ambulance to bring him back to Minnesota. The plan to help save Cruz doesn't come without costs, which is why his sister-in-law has arranged a GoFundMe. As of this writing, the campaign has raised just shy of $34,000. 

But in order to be flown to Minnesota, Cruz needs to be in a more stable condition. According to a Thursday CaringBridge update, Cruz currently requires 100% oxygen and he has sustained lung damage from COVID-19. 

"He is in a critical state and both doctors agree that he should stay there until he reaches a plateau. We need to pray for a miracle that his condition stabilizes and starts to improve," the update said. 

Next Up

Bob Kroll

Minneapolis City Council committee votes not to provide Bob Kroll defense in lawsuits

On Wednesday, the Policy and Government Oversight Committee voted to deny Kroll indemnification in four lawsuits he is named in.


Pandemic program gives eligible households $50 off monthly internet bills

The Emergency Broadband Program was passed by Congress as part of a COVID-19 relief package in December.

Twitter -  Jennifer McDermed glitch - FOX 9

FOX 9 meteorologist's glitchy, laugh-filled forecast goes viral, features on Fallon

The FOX 9 meteorologist's clip was shared on 'Jimmy Fallon' and 'GMA.'

police lights

Suspects, possibly armed, flee after gunshots and car crash in Bemidji

Police say they may be armed, and are asking the public for tips.

Kevin Fiala, Jordan Greenway

Wild blanked by Blues; playoff fate is in Colorado's hands

It comes down to the final day of the regular season.

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 10.04.32 PM

Number of suicides in Minnesota decreased in 2020

While the number dropped, 723 people still died by suicide last year.

Vikings fans, U.S. Bank Stadium

Ranking the most difficult games in the Vikings' 2021 schedule

The Vikings have some interesting matchups on their 17-game slate.

Spencer Silver

Chemist who co-invented Post-it Notes dies at home in St. Paul

He developed an adhesive that could stick to paper – repeatedly – without damaging the paper.

Danielle Hunter

Here is the official 2021 Minnesota Vikings schedule

How does an early January game at Lambeau Field sound?


coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 11

Minnesota has its fewest COVID-19 hospitalizations since before Halloween.


Child under 10 years old dies from COVID-19 in Minnesota

An updated view of the COViD-19 pandemic in Minnesota.

Cesar Cruz

Father dies after getting COVID-19 while on trip to Guatemala

César Cruz came down with a severe case of COVID-19 while visiting family.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, October 9

Minnesota is nearing 500 current COVID-19 hospitalizations.

coronavirus, nurse

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, October 13

483 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized in Minnesota.


Prison inmate dies 19 days after testing positive for COVID-19

It's the first prison death due to COVID-19 in Minnesota.