U.S. citizen billed $1.7 million by government for life-saving burn treatment: “Completely hopeless

An American citizen found himself with a strong restorative charge totaling about $2 million from the U.S. government, after he went through seven months at a Texas military clinic recouping from life-threatening injuries. “I never anticipated, never in my life to live through something like this,” Puerto Rican inhabitant Alexis Hernandez told CBS News’ Anna Werner. “I never envisioned that I will ought to live through such pain.” In January of 2019, Hernandez arrived in Guadalajara, Mexico to start examining to be a specialist. He was 23 at the time.

“I’ve worked truly difficult all my life to form this genuine,” he said, including it was his dream to think about medication.

Fair two days after he arrived, Hernandez said he went to turn on an evaporator to urge hot water for his shower. At that point the blast happened. “The flares were all over the flat and the building. And I had to run through the flames within the flat searching for a way out. Within the conclusion, I nearly misplaced my life,” he related.

Rescuers spared him and took him to a Mexican healing center, but his serious burns required specialized care. As a U.S. citizen, Hernandez was at that point flown to one of America’s head burn centers — the U.S. Army’s Founded of Surgical Inquire about in San Antonio, Texas.

His physical treatment partner Kelly Brown said the burns were over “a colossal rate” of Hernandez’s body. “There was as it were a couple of places that weren’t burned,” he said. Even with pharmaceutical, he was likely in extraordinary torment, Brown said. One of the as it were places not burned were the soles of his feet. Hernandez’s recuperation composed of 19 surgeries and hundreds of hours of physical treatment. “I begin from zero once more, I learn how to walk, how to eat, how to breathe, how to see, how to dress myself, how to do everything once more,” he said.

Brown lauded Hernandez as a “really decided youthful man.” “He’s been through more pain than any human ought to got to bargain with,” he said. “And he battled through it, he always wanted to induce superior, and he would continuously grant it his best exertion and after that a few.”

Hernandez said the day he flew domestic to Puerto Rico seven months afterward and was welcomed by a steady swarm was “amazing.” “To see how cheerful they were, it was an extremely uncommon minute for me,” he said, obviously emotional. But when he got domestic, Hernandez found his wellbeing protections company — protections given through his father’s work as a constable — had denied installment for his therapeutic costs.

His father, Jamie Hernandez, said the company presently denied to pay the claim, telling him it was since the mischance happened in Mexico. The U.S. government at that point sent him a charge claiming he owed $1.7 million to the U.S. Treasury — an sum they indeed proposed he might pay by check or by phone. Hernandez said he felt “totally miserable” when he saw the letter. His neighborhood agent sent letters to the Treasury and Defense Offices, as well as then-Attorney Common William Barr, inquiring that the obligation be excused. There has been no response. Now Hernandez is attempting to move on, in spite of owing that much cash.

Inquired what keeps him decided and driving forward, Hernandez said he felt like he gotten a “moment chance” at life. “I feel blessed. I am thankful that I can see the light of the day, each day,” he said. “Not everybody encompasses a moment chance. I’m not reaching to squander it.” He needs to use that moment chance, he said, to aid others. Hernandez plans to go back to restorative school and at long last ended up a specialist, in the event that the obligation does not stand within the way. “I am working so difficult to go back to school. Perhaps with this, I’m not planning to be able to go back,” he worried. Hernandez’s protections company, To begin with Therapeutic, would not comment on his case in spite of many request from CBS News. The U.S. Divisions of Treasury, Defense and Equity moreover did not comment.

Alexis Hernandez, in the interim, had two more surgeries this year and faces more months of physical recovery.

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