POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida mother is trying to get her son, who is a Pompano Beach firefighter, home after he was seriously injured in an accident overseas.
Doctors are demanding tens of thousands of dollars from Lorene Parker’s family before Michael Hughes, her son, can leave Indonesia and return to the United States.
“We just want to get him home, get him the care that he needs, and we need the community’s help,” said Parker. “All I know is that he is severely injured, and we want to get him here to the States, so we can get him the good care that he needs.”
Michael suffered a terrible accident while on a yearly ski trip overseas with friends.
“I don’t know the details,” said Patrick Hughes, Michael’s brother. “I just know he suffered a fall. At the last minute, they decided to spend a few days, since they were having so much fun, in Southeast Asia, so they decided to go down to Bali, Indonesia for a few days. They were supposed to be coming home later this week, and this happened.”
The annual ski trip that started in Canada would later lead to Japan and Bali.
“We don’t know any of those details,” said Parker. “I just know he’s fallen, and he had an accident, so I don’t know how it happened. He’s not able to tell us. He doesn’t remember anything.”
The 39-year-old is in a hospital in Indonesia, and his family wants to immediately get him on a medical flight to Florida.
“They want to do treatment there because they’re afraid of transporting him in the condition that he’s in,” said Hughes. “We don’t know if that treatment is going to be adequate treatment, or if we should get him here for that treatment or now.”
Michael is conscious but is in a lot of pain. He suffered injuries including shattered ribs, a punctured lung and head trauma.
“I just know he has a laceration to the head,” said Parker. “He has some internal stuff going on.”
Doctors will be performing an emergency surgery to stabilize him before he can get a medical transport back to the U.S. Following the surgery, he is expected to remain in Indonesia for an additional week to recover before he is stable enough to get on a plane and fly home.
“He’s there. He’s being medicated,” said Hughes. “They are charging him an exuberant amount of money for the medication, and they’re saying, ‘We won’t do anything unless you give us cash.'”
Communication has been tough, and his family does not want to worry about how they are getting him back. They are simply worrying when they’ll get him back.
“The guy was unfortunately having a great time with his buddies and having a trip of a lifetime, and [for] such a freak accident to occur, it’s pretty devastating for everybody,” said Pompano Beach Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Jorge Rossi.
His fellow firefighters are standing with him and his family.
“In a short period of time, he’s one of those guys who made a big impact with the department,” said Rossi.
Michael’s family is thankful for everyone’s support, but they said they need more of it.
“I’m just very appreciative of everybody that’s been calling and helping,” said Parker. “We’ve got people calling from all over.”
Right now, they have more questions than answers.
“It’s been horrible. I feel helpless,” said Parker. “I don’t know what to do.”
Hughes’ family has started a GoFundMe page. They said they need about $250,000 to bring him home.
“He still has a long road to recovery, so any help, anyone that can provide, we greatly appreciate it, and thank you very much to all the support that’s already been provided, thank you so much,” said Hughes.
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