News — July 22, 2017 at 5:46 am

Premature baby allegedly held in Mexican hospital arrives in US


Beckham Smith-Ralph was born three months premature while his parents were on a vacation in Mexico. (GoFundMe)

A baby born three months premature while his parents were on a “babymoon” arrived in the U.S. on Thursday, after a two-day ordeal over payments to the Mexican hospital that he was born in. Beckham Smith-Ralph, who was born on Tuesday, arrived at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis via medical jet after his family’s plea for help sparked an outpouring of support on their GoFundMe page.

“Beckham is getting the proper medical care that he deserves,” Rebecca Ewert, who has been updating the family’s GoFundMe page, wrote on Thursday. “We will be giving the family some space as they come down from this crazy traumatic past 72 hours.”

Beckham’s mother, Michaela Smith, received approval to travel with her partner, Larry Ralph, from her doctor, as her due date was scheduled for Oct. 15, WXIN-TV reported. But while in Cancun, she began to feel ill and went to Hospiten Cancun, where Beckham was born three months premature.

While they paid an initial $9,000 for the first day of care, they claim another $4,000 was billed in various fees, Fox 59 reported. They said within 24 hours, the bill’s total then tripled.

According to the family’s GoFundMe page, the hospital refused to release Beckham until the couple paid $37,000, which did not include a medical flight to the U.S.

“Literally they’re being held hostage down there,” Larry Ralph Sr., had told Fox 59. “We just want to get him somewhere and get him stable. We need to get him in America.”

The couple allegedly then ran into trouble regarding Smith’s health insurance, as the Indiana Hoosier Healthwise plan was not accepted in Florida, which is where they had planned to land. Arrangements were made for the plane to land in Pensacola, where it would go through customs, and then it would travel to Indianapolis, Fox 59 reported.

As the family continued to update followers on Beckham’s status, funds to help cover the hospital’s charges as well as the additional cost of a medical flight surpassed $47,000 from supporters.

“They are in INDIANA!!!” Ewert posted on Thursday. “We wanted to update all of our family, friends and supporters! Thank you Thank you Thank You from the bottom of our hearts!”

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