DE SOTO, Kan. (WDAF) – A Johnson County, Kansas family is working to get their father home for life-saving medical treatment. He suffered a brain aneurysm while visiting family in Mexico but getting him home will cost tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s a plea for help as a De Soto family feels helpless. They’re more than a thousand miles away from a loved one in a Mexican ICU.
Family said Armando Sanchez is a beloved custodian in the Olathe School District, but right now, he’s fighting for his life in Mexico.
The family wants to fly their father home to get the 60-year-old the health care he needs to survive.
“We just love him,” Adolfo Sanchez, his son, said. “We want him home.”
His sister Margarita Culbertson found out last week their parents weren’t coming home as planned.
“I just fell to the ground and was in absolute shock,” Culbertson said.
Armando Sanchez suffered a brain bleed while helping family in Mexico. He had a successful surgery on Monday, but is still in intensive care.
“It’s turmoil,” Sanchez said. “I never imagined being in this situation.”
They’re waiting for the green light from doctors to fly him home and the money it’ll take to do that.
Culbertson said the least expensive quote from an air ambulance was $31,000, and that would get Armando from Mexico to Kansas City.
“In the United States, we have great doctors, great facilities, great technologies, great resources,” Culbertson said, “and medical insurance!”
They said medical bills are piling up, and right now, it looks like they owe about $15,000 out of pocket for the procedure, scans and tests.
Emotional support is important, too. Sanchez has three children and seven grandchildren in De Soto.
Beyond that, family said he cares for students at Madison Place Elementary and Olathe North High School — shoveling snow to keep them safe. This custodian has worked in the district for more than 15 years.
Dr. Gary Stevenson, principal of Madison Place Elementary, said in a statement to WDAF:
“Our hearts go out to Armando and his family. At Madison Place Elementary, we are a tight-knit community. It has been incredible to see our community rally around Armando, but it is not surprising because of his impact on all of us. He is not only an excellent employee – just as importantly he is our friend and very much like a family member to us. He is also a tremendous person who has given so much to our school and community. We will continue to keep Armando and his family in our thoughts and prayers throughout this challenging time and we hope to see him home soon.”
“I had no idea. I thought my dad was just working 10-hour shifts and coming home,” Culbertson said. “I didn’t know idea my dad was making all these friends and all these connections and it’s amazing how much love and support has been received.”