The Deportation of Luis Alberto Jimenez
This New York Times video examines the case of Luis Alberto Jimenez, a Guatemalan national who, after losing the use of his legs and being seriously brain damaged in a car accident with a drunk driver in Florida, was deported to Guatemala by the hospital that helped save his life.
The story profiles the case of Jimenez to highlight the larger issue of American hospitals which quietly repatriate hundreds of undocumented patients each year to hospitals and nursing homes in their countries of origin. In the case of Jimenez, the Florida hospital where he was brought after his accident was unable to find a nursing home that would take him because he had no insurance. American hospitals are required by federal regulation to arrange post-hospital care for patients who need it.
After several years of caring for him, the hospital took Jimenez back to Guatemala in a private air ambulance transport. With virtually no rehabilitation care available in his country, Jimenez was taken to live with his mother in a tiny village in the mountains where he is bedridden. A lawsuit against the hospital is still pending.
Interviews with family members, doctors, lawyers and nurses round out this moving story.
Interactive media production: Shayla Harris and Deborah Sontag
Additional images: Josh Haner and David Friedman
Additional video: Emily Hager and Brent McDonald