An Indiana woman and her premature baby are back home after a Mexican hospital demanded more than $30,000 following delivery.
Thursday evening, Michaela Smith and baby Beckham Ralph landed via medical jet at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Family members said Smith and Beckham are getting the care they need.
The incident began when a pregnant Smith and her husband Larry Ralph were on vacation in Cancun when their child Beckham was born at 28 weeks by an emergency C-section. The couple said they thought everything was OK until they received several bills.
Smith and Ralph were charged $3,000 to be admitted into the hospital, $7,000 following delivery, $4,000 to see Beckham and $17,000 or they would be put out of the building, among other charges.
“They were threatening to put him literally on the streets - a baby in an incubator. Complete strong-arm tactics,” said Beckham’s grandfather Larry.
With the help of family, the couple was able to pay the hospital. Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (R-Bloomington, Ind.) and the state department helped obtain a birth certificate and a medical jet for the child.
“This hospital was extorting this family, continuing to ask for more money nearly every hour to release him,” said Hollingsworth.
With Beckham back home, the family said they thank the community for their support. More than 800 donations totaling more than $43,000 was donated through a GoFundMe page.