Seizure leaves man in a vegetative state hundreds of miles from home

A San Benito man, Francisco Vargas, is in a vegetative state in Minnesota

A San Benito family is struggling to bring their loved one back home from Minnesota.

Francisco Vargas is currently in a vegetative state in Avera Morningside Heights Care Center in Marshall, Minnesota.

This tragedy started Thanksgiving week when Vargas suffered a diabetic seizure.

"No answer from the door so they had to break down the door," Benino Vargas Jr., Vargas' nephew said. "When they got in they just found him lying there on the sofa."

Vargas was airlifted to Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

There he went from being in a coma to a vegetative state.

After a month, Vargas was transferred to Morningside Heights in Marshall.

However, his family wants him back home in the Valley.

The problem is they have no money to pay for the transfer.

Medicaid is paying for Vargas' care but won't pay for his transfer.

"What you have to have is the need for Medicare and Medicaid to transfer or allow the transfer of the person," Rene Perez, South Texas Emergency Care Foundation director, said. "For them to pay for it requires the need for the transport. In other words, why can't they take care of him there versus wherever they are sending him."

Transporting Vargas in an ambulance will cost the family around $11,000 and by plane $15,000.

Money the family does not have.

Medicaid would only pay for it if he were going to a facility with a higher level of care than the one he is receiving now.

"If he is getting the care that he needs to at that facility then typically the fee or the transport or any kind of transport fee would be responsibility of the family," Perez said.

In the end, Perez tells Action 4 that it all comes down to the need and care of the patient.

If you would like to help get Francisco back home you can donate money at IBC Commerce Bank under Francisco Vargas.

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