Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Springhill Care Group | South Korean hospital won’t transfer American home until $40K bill is paid

Sean Jones family ask for donations for the young English teacher who has the rare brain disease anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, can continue treatment in the United States.

According to the reports, the American teacher Sean Jones was treated for a rare brain disease in South Korea is unable to return home until his nearly-$40,000 hospital bill is paid

The family of an American man stuck in a South Korean hospital is requesting for donations to bring him home.

Since May, the young teacher Sean Jones from Oklahoma City, has been hospitalized with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a rare autoimmune disease that causes swelling in the brain.

Reports says that Yonsei University Severance Hospital in Seoul refuses to release him after his bill of nearly $40,000 is paid while Jones' family wants him transferred to an American hospital for continued treatment

Friends and family have set up a Facebook page and a Giveforward.com account to raise money for medical costs. So far they have raised about three-quarters of the goal, Sean's mother, LaTanya Dodd, told The Korea Herald.

“I really don’t know if they can legally hold him here. If they can’t legally do so, he will be going,” said Dodd, who came to South Korea in July to care for her son, to the paper. “They won’t care for him anymore, and that’s what I’m worried about. Is that going to affect the whole outcome — just sitting here waiting?”

Family members said Jones was moved to a group room and suffers from bedsores due to a lack of care.

The fresh college grad, portrayed as outgoing and passionate about education, had been teaching English in Hwajung for almost a year when he started experiencing headaches and hallucinations.

He was prescribed by the doctor, antidepressants and was advised to rest but his conditioned worsened.  He was admitted to the hospital two days later with a fever of 108 degrees.

Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis was identified in 2007, and only a few hundred cases have been documented worldwide.  It can cause personality changes and psychotic symptoms.

“I was told before I got here the reason was that they were scared because he was violent," Dodd said. "He was having violent outbursts (because of the disease). He was very difficult for me, too, when I got here, but they expect me to do it alone.”

A GiveForward page is collecting donations to bring Sean home.

Sean appears to be recovering without brain damage although the disease is often fatal.  But he has suffered a dramatic weight loss.

According to The Korea Herald, the U.S. embassy arranged for a doctor to fly with Jones to a hospital in Indianapolis on Sept. 4, but the Korean hospital refuses to transfer him.

A State Department official issued the following statement to The News on Wednesday:
“We are aware that a U.S. citizen, Sean Terrell Jones, was hospitalized in Seoul with a rare form of encephalitis. Consular personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul are providing assistance in this case, and are in touch with the family.  Generally, when a U.S. citizen is injured or becomes seriously ill while abroad, the embassy or consulate will do all it can to assist the individual to obtain appropriate medical care.  In this case, the embassy has assisted Sean and his family by providing temporary financial assistance to cover the cost of return home.” 

Hospital representatives have not returned a request for comment.

Sean's older brother Brandon Jones spoke with Oklahoma City's News9 over the weekend.

A "The goal is really just to help with his medical bills, and hopefully with no speed bumps, we can actually get him back in the United States," Brandon Jones told the station.

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