Girl Removed from Hospital Might be in Mexico

hospital doorsA mother removed her daughter from a hospital in Arizona. The girl has leukemia and a catheter in her heart. This could lead to very serious issues if the girl gets an infection. Now, it appears that the girl may be in Mexico. The information is unclear, and police are still uncertain of where the girl is at.

Norma Bracamontes is the mother of an eleven year old daughter who has leukemia. Her daughter, who is being called “Emily” in the media, was in the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She was there for about a month, and was receiving chemotherapy. An infection caused doctors to amputate part of her right arm and to place a catheter in her heart.

Before the device could be removed, Norma Bracamontes removed “Emily” from the hospital. She changed her daughter’s clothing, took out her IV, and walked her out of the hospital’s doors.

This is a problem because the catheter is not designed to remain inside “Emily’s” heart forever. Doctors said that if it wasn’t removed soon, it could increase the risk for the girl to contract an infection. According to the doctors, this could result in “Emily’s” death within “a matter of days”.

There has been an update to the story. The girl’s father, Luis Bracamontes, now says that his daughter is safe and is being treated by doctors in Mexico. He has declined to reveal to the police where, exactly, in Mexico that “Emily” was at. However, he did say:

“She is well and she is fine”.

Police are concerned about whether or not “Emily” is getting the right medical attention. They are continuing to look for the girl. Police Sargent Steve Martos said:

“We understand the right of a parent to change doctors, to change hospitals, we’re not challenging that. We just want to make sure that Emily is getting the right medical attention that she requires to prevent this potential horrific ending.”

Why would the family take such risks and remove their daughter from the hospital? An article at AZ provides some potential reasons. The article says that “Emily’s” father, Luis Bracamontes, blames the hospital for his wife’s decision to remove their daughter from the hospital.

He told NBC that the medical bills had reached $1.37 million, and that their insurance limit was $2 million per year. He said the hospital’s social workers told the family that they needed to apply for coverage through the Arizona Health Care Containment System (the name of the state’s Medicaid program). He said that he was told that without that coverage, the family would have to start paying out of pocket for “Emily’s” medical bills.

Image by Tammra McCauley on Flickr