Spokane mother hopes other travelers can learn from her medical - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane mother hopes other travelers can learn from her medical nightmare

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Brandi Gallagher speaks with KHQ from her hospital bed Brandi Gallagher speaks with KHQ from her hospital bed
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Spokane mother is speaking out after a medical nightmare while she was on vacation in Mexico.

Brandi Gallagher went down to Cabo San Lucas for vacation and expected a relaxing retreat. But then, she fell and punctured her lung. An ambulance took her to St. Luke’s Medical Center, and that’s when she says her nightmare started.

“They locked me in a room with no treatment. And they told me you can have care when we get our money,” she says.

She says the money they were referring to was a $55,000 hospital bill.

The US Consulate issued a warning last year about St. Luke’s in Cabo San Lucas and three other hospitals. Mexican federal authorities actually ordered those hospitals to suspend operations and stop admitting patients because of these kinds of predatory business and billings practices.

Brandi’s family was able to come up with $26,000, and they were able to get her transferred to a different hospital, BlueNet, which is on a consulate list of approved hospitals.

Brandi hopes others can learn from her story.

“Listen to the locals. Know where your embassies are,” she says. “If you get hurt know which hospitals you're going to go to…don't get stuck in the position where I was where I didn't know.”

She says she’s seen a huge outpouring of support from Spokane to Vancouver. She says the residents in Cabo have been great too. Some strangers have even been coming to visit her in the hospital after they heard what happened to make sure she’s okay.

“I'm humbled. It's really helped my nightmare not be so bad,” she says.

She also recommends getting traveler’s insurance. She didn't get it for this trip, but it typically costs four to ten percent of your total trip cost and could’ve helped avoid this situation.

If you would like to help the family with the costs that remain: https://www.gofundme.com/brandi039s-medical-bills

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