Tyler Perry Is Helping Out an American Couple Stuck in Mexico With $16K Hospital Bill

An Atlanta man was "near death" when he was checked into a Mexican hospital after falling ill on a cruise. The private hospital requires bills be paid in full before patients leave

An Atlanta couple's dream cruise vacation took a scary turn when Tori Austin's fiancée suffered a serious medical emergency on board the ship, NBC News reports.

Austin told NBC News her fiancée, Stephen Johnson, was rushed to a private hospital in Progreso, Mexico, over a week ago in critical condition after medics aboard a cruise ship diagnosed him with pancreatitis, diabetes and a kidney infection that required dialysis. Johnson was "near death" when he was checked into the hospital, Centro Médico Americano, on Nov. 14, a hospital administrator told NBC News on Saturday.

After undergoing an endoscopy, dialysis, three days of intensive care and many other medical procedures, Johnson's medical bill totaled over $14,000, Austin said.

Centro Médico Americano, like other private hospitals in Mexico, has a policy requiring that all medical bills be paid at the time of discharge because they don't have a system to bill patients after they've been released, said the administrator. Austin together with Johnson's sister created a GoFundMe page to raise money needed to cover the cost. Film mogul Tyler Perry saw a news report on the couple's dilemma and sent a payment to cover the bill, which by then was over $16,000, sources told NBC News.

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