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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.

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. 

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