Comatose Oregon man leaves San Diego hospital, returns home

Family first thought he was stung by jellyfish

SAN DIEGO - An Oregon man who was rushed to San Diego by air ambulance after a jellyfish sting in Mexico remains in a coma but is now back in his home state.

On Thursday, Craig Leibelt was transported home to Oregon, and his family now claims it was nutritional products, and not a jellyfish sting, that made him so sick.

Leibelt's family, along with his girlfriend Monica, stayed by his bedside in the intensive care unit at UC San Diego Medical Center for the past three weeks after he was brought to San Diego from Cabo San Lucas.

Craig and his girlfriend were celebrating his 28th birthday in Cabo when their trip took a traumatic turn. Monica saw him floating in the ocean water not far from the shore. He had gone into cardiac arrest, believed to be from a jellyfish sting.

It took days and nearly $50,000 paid to the "One World Hospital" in Cabo to get him released to the United States for treatment. Now, his mother told 10News that his doctors do not believe it was a jellyfish sting after all.

"When we got here the doctors said, 'No,'" Ann Leibelt told 10News on Thursday from the hospital.

She believes it was her son's use of nutritional products called AdvoCare.

"He's never had any health issues. Ever," she added.

The products are endorsed by dozens of sports figures, including former San Diego Chargers quarterback Drew Brees. Leibelt's mother said she has tried the products herself but stopped when she learned of its high caffeine content.

"He was doing the Spark. He was doing a muscle enhancer. He had done a 24-day challenge," she added.

10News reached out to AdvoCare on Thursday and were told in a statement:

AdvoCare was made aware of the situation late this afternoon. Based on limited details provided, we have no official reports this incident is related to AdvoCare or any of its products. We will continue to monitor the situation. AdvoCare products are formulated with the highest regard for safety and efficacy. Many are also routinely tested as part of the most comprehensive banned-substance certification program for dietary supplements in the world – Informed-Choice Certification.
Allison Levy
VP and Chief Legal Officer
AdvoCare International, LP

Ann Leibelt said she is trying to comprehend how and why her son has now been in a coma for three weeks.

Her biggest concerns now are getting him settled into a hospital at home and making sure he gets better.

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