Iowa Mother Stranded In Hong Kong After Prematurely Giving Birth To Her Son

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Wendy Morrow was 7 months pregnant when her water broke at Hong Kong International Airport. She and her sister Sara Pippett were on their way to Xiamen, China, for their brother’s wedding, but Wendy got stuck in Hong Kong because her U.S. health insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of baby Kyuss’s birth.

With an unpaid hospital bill of $20,000, the hospital withheld a birth certificate so the U.S. embassy couldn’t issue a passport for Wendy’s newborn son. Every day, an additional $1,600 is tacked on to the original bill.

Kyuss was born 8 weeks premature, so he is in an incubator at Princess Margaret Hospital. Tina Morrow, Wendy’s other sister, created an online fundraiser for the family, which has currently raised a little more than $12,500 to help get Wendy and Kyuss home to Iowa.

Frustrated by the lack of support from Medicare/Medicaid, Wendy’s family reached out to politicians, including Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who told them in an email that his office would try to make an inquiry on the family's behalf. 

Luckily, this story has a happy ending. Today, the family received word Kyuss would get a birth certificate tomorrow, thanks in part to the widespread media attention.

"I cannot believe the hospital just called us and said they are releasing the birth certificate to us now!" Pippett told CNN in an email.

Source: GoFundMe, CNN, Siouxland Matters Image via Siouxland Matters