Baby Beckham is back home in Indiana after being born prematurely in Mexico. The hospital where he was born was charging thousands of dollars to take care of the baby.
According to relatives of the parents, Michaela Smith and Larry Ralph Jr. Smith were extorted by the Mexican hospital. They were on vacation in Mexico. Michaela didn’t plan on having the baby there; however, she started feeling contractions and had to be taken to the hospital.
“Demands fell once they realized the more and more attention the United States and the representatives were paying to the situation,” said the congressional representative, Trey Hollingsworth who was contacted by the babies’ parents. “We just worked to find different options for baby Beckham to get home. It certainly is scary, but my first thought was about baby Beckham’s health and making sure we got him the care that he needed and got him to Riley [a hospital in Indiana]”
Should women travel when they are in advanced stages of pregnancy?
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the International Air Travel Association, women should travel after the 37th week of pregnancy, if they have complicated pregnancies they should refrain from doing it after the 32nd week.
However, Michaela and Larry Ralph got the permission to travel from their doctor, and they were confident they would be able to come back to Martinsville, Indiana, before the time to have their baby arrived. They went to Cancun for vacation; they were going to stay there from July 14 to July 19. Unexpectedly, Michaela started feeling contractions, and she was taken to the hospital. Baby Beckham was born on July 18 after an emergency C-section. He was premature and weighed less than 3 pounds. He was supposed to be born on October 7.
The hospital was asking for a fortune
Larry Ralph Jr. called their relatives In Indiana to let them know about the unexpected birth and to ask for help because the hospital was extorting them, asking for more and more money.
Apparently, Michaela Smith and Larry Ralph Jr. were charged $3,000 even before she was cared, $4000 to let them see the baby and tens of thousands for the care they gave to the child. According to Michaela’s mother, Elaine, the hospital said the payment couldn’t come from health insurance and that if they refused to pay out-of-pocket, they would be kicked out.
“She was devastated,” said baby Beckham’s grandmother. “She was crying, she wanted to come home and there were these demands of money. At one point in time, they [the hospital] demanded 30,000 in an hour, or they were going to kick them out to another hospital. It continued. It just escalated. It kept going, and going.”
Their family paid $3,000 upfront, plus thousands more to the hospital. The case received a lot of attention. They contacted congressional representative, Trey Hollingsworth, who confirmed that a medical jet flew to Mexico from Pensacola, Florida, to get the Smith back to Indiana on July 20. The State Department managed to obtain a birth certificate for the baby.