News & Politics

Vacationing British Couple Face $200,000 Hospital Bill After Baby Born Early in New York

Infant born 11 weeks early brings brush with high cost of U.S. healthcare

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A British couple say they could be in for a $200,000 (£130,000) hospital bill, after traveling to New York City for a five-day vacation, only for their baby boy to be born 11 weeks premature.

Dax was reportedly born weighing 3lbs; according to the Independent he is in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lenox Hill hospital in New York. The hospital did not immediately respond to a Guardian inquiry.

“My mummy and daddy went on a five day break to New York as a last get away before I came along!” wrote Katie Amos and Lee Johnston from Lincolnshire, in the voice of their child Dax on a fundraising page entitled “Dax’s Tale of New York”.

“They went to a cake shop (Mummy loves cakes), and were walking through Central Park on a movie tour and I decided they were having such a good time I wanted to see what all the fun was about, and I decided to pop out 11 weeks early!”

The couple say they could be forced to stay in the hospital, uninsured and accruing medical debt, until 10 March. It is unclear whether the couple’s travel insurance will pay for the delivery of their son.

The couple say on their fundraising page that they have no family or friends in New York. By Thursday evening, their fundraising page had raised $7,566 (£4,855). They have received significant publicity, including support from the British model Katie Price.

 

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Jessica Glenza is the Health reporter at the Guardian US. She tweets at @JessicaGlenza.