A woman who claims she was held hostage in a Nayarit hospital until she paid her bill is back in the United States, happy to be home but certain she will never return to Mexico.
Vikki Moormann, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was staying at her time-share in Nuevo Vallarta May 2 when she began feeling ill.
She went to the San Javier Riviera de Nayarit Hospital where she was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication of diabetes. But after she was treated she appeared to go into a coma, according to her son, Ryen Moormann.
He admitted that a language barrier contributed to confusion early on but he eventually spoke with a doctor who said she would be fine. She would be released within five days, during which time her condition would be monitored, he said.
But on May 8, when Moormann went to leave, she said armed guards with rifles blocked her exit. She wouldn’t be allowed to leave until she had paid her bill, she was told.
Her son said until that point nothing had been said about a bill and that when his mother was admitted she was not told it was a private hospital.
Moormann spent several more days confined to her room, the hospital insisting she could not leave until she paid the more than US $30,000 she owed.
Ryen Moormann said U.S. consulate officials told him the hospital could not keep his mother against her will. But when she attempted to leave a second time, local police showed up and threatened to arrest her sister-in-law.
In the end, he said, it was pressure from politicians and the U.S. State Department that persuaded the hospital to relent, provided he paid another $5,000 toward the bill. Payments by Vikki Moormann with cash and credit cards had brought the original bill down from $40,000.
Although her son has a tape of a telephone conversation with someone at the hospital who insisted his mother could not leave as long as the bill was unpaid, another hospital representative told Fox News that they could not physically hold her against her will.
She described Moormann as “content,” and blamed the media and Moormann’s son for the reports she was being held captive.
After Ryen Moormann paid the requested $5,000 the hospital provided his mother with transportation to the airport on Friday. They said they didn’t know what the final bill would be or how they would pay it.
Ryen Moormann has set up a page on gofundme.com, seeking to raise $30,000. As of today the total donated was $4,355.
Although Vikki Moorman has owned her time-share for more than 20 years, she may never use it again.
“I’ll tell you, I’m never going back,” she told The Spokesman-Review newspaper. “It was the most horrible experience of my life.”