A sick girl in Mexico became the subject of a frantic search when CCTV footage captured her mother’s abrupt departure with the child — 11-year-old Emily Bracamontes — from a Phoenix hospital following a course of chemotherapy and a subsequent arm amputation.
Dad Luis Bracamontes initially denied knowing the whereabouts of the sick girl in Mexico, even when stopped by US Border agents over the weekend, days after Emily was taken from the hospital against medical advice. (A video showed Emily’s mom removing a chest catheter dispensing medication to prevent a life-threatening infection from potentially fatally sickening the girl.)
This week, Bracamontes told authorities the sick girl was in Mexico being treated, a claim of which cops were skeptical — police countered that efforts were made to conceal Emily’s whereabouts, including absconding in a vehicle in which the tags and registration were mismatched.)
Now the sick girl’s father claims that her flight to Mexico — which does not seem to have been confirmed by authorities — was due to a skyrocketing hospital bill and what he feels was negligence that led to Emily’s arm being amputated.
Bracamontes spoke to NBC about his claim, and said the sick girl was taken to Mexico in part due to the family’s fears about climbing medical bills. USAToday says:
“He said the medical bills had reached $1.37 million and their insurance limit was $2 million a year. He said hospital social workers told them they they needed to apply for coverage through Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program. Without such coverage, Bracamontes said the hospital told the family, they would have to begin paying out of pocket.”
The site continues, quoting the man:
“‘They kept telling us, ‘Are you going to pay out of your pocket?’ ‘ he said.”
Bracamontes also argues that prejudice and alleged negligence led to the decision to move the sick girl to Mexico, adding:
“We feel that we have been discriminated and pushed to the limit in so many ways … She didn’t come to the hospital with any illness in her arm. This happened in the hospital … Who is going to come forward and say ‘I’m responsible for it?’ “
“It’s something that I don’t think any family should go through … It was hard to see your daughter losing an arm. You know she is just not the same. It is just frustrating and you can’t do anything about it.”
Emily’s dad says that in Mexico, the sick girl was evaluated and doctors decided the catheter could remain in place for a year.