The nightmare of Adrián Fernández, the Spaniard surviving in an induced coma in Mexico for $8,600 a day

The 39-year-old suffered cardiac arrest during his honeymoon and was admitted to intensive care at a private medical center in Cancún

Adrián Fernández y Sofía Parada
Adrián Fernández and Sofía Parada, a Spanish couple who were celebrating their honeymoon in Cancún (Mexico), in May 2024.sofia.parada
Beatriz Guillén

Adrián Fernández and Sofía Parada’s honeymoon has turned into a nightmare. The Spanish couple had traveled to the popular resort of Cancún, in Mexico, to celebrate their marriage, and instead now face a medical crisis and mounting hospital bills for tens of thousands of dollars. On Sunday Adrián, 39, suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Cancún. The medical center is keeping him in an induced coma due to the severity of his condition, and charging the family around $8,600 a day. Sofía Parada has begun to ask for help to cope with the situation.

The couple, who are originally from Alzira, a town in Spain’s eastern region of Valencia, arrived in Mexico’s Riviera Maya with their seven-year-old son last week. On May 5, just one day before they were scheduled to return to Spain, what Sofía Parada defines as “an ordeal” began. At around 3 p.m. Adrián Fernández began to drown in the hotel pool. He was having a cardiac arrest. Lifeguards worked to resuscitate him for 10 minutes.

He was rushed to the nearest hospital, his wife explained in a post on her Facebook account. But he had to be transferred to another hospital with more resources given the seriousness of his condition. “To this day Adrián is still in a coma, he is in a critical state.”

The diagnosis points to bilateral pneumonia due to waterlogging of 80% of the patient’s lungs, as reported by the Valencian newspaper Levante. The seriousness of his condition prevents the family from transferring Fernández on a medical plane to Spain. Parada, who herself works in the intensive care unit of La Rivera hospital in Valencia, considers that moving the patient now would endanger his life.

Added to the concern for Fernández’s life is the cost of keeping him alive. The family had taken out travel insurance, but Parada explained that in two days the maximum was exceeded: “Travel insurance cannot cover the hospitalization costs anymore, since they are very high.” Back home in Alzira, numerous local sports clubs, cultural associations and other groups have been raising funds to help the family, which has also sent a request for help on GoFundMe, the daily Levante reported.

Unlike Spain’s public healthcare, in Mexico there is a fragmented health system. Through travel insurance, tourists can access private centers, whose cost of care has increased since 2016, according to the Federal Economic Competition Commission. Treating an appendicitis can cost around 116,000 pesos (more than $6,900) and ntensive care costs skyrocket above 140,000 pesos ($8,300).

“The Spanish embassy is aware of everything, but they tell us that they cannot do anything beyond providing information. They say they cannot repatriate him to be admitted to a Spanish hospital as with a similar case in Thailand,” says Sofía Parada. The woman’s father is already in Mexico to care for her and for the couple’s son. “Our family and friends are raising a collection to help us face all these payments, and anyone who wants to help, any donation, no matter how small, is of great help to us; we need to wake up from this nightmare so we can return home, but above all so Adrián can recover.”

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