An Atlanta man stranded in California after a serious illness is trying to get back home to spend his final days with his family.
Everything has been thrown into question for the Long family ever since Jeff Long got seriously ill during an experimental treatment in Mexico.
The Long family was running out of options after Jeff Long was diagnosed with ALS in 2014 and degenerative Lyme disease in 2015. Their doctor suggested they try an embryonic stem cell treatment only approved in Mexico.
“He's been to heck and back, it's been a nightmare, a nightmare for him,” Stacy Long, Jeff's wife, said.
In Mexico, Jeff came down with pneumonia and had to transfer to a hospital in San Diego. He's now so sick, doctors will only release him through a medical flight, which costs $22,300.
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The Longs depend on Medicare after Stacy quit her job to care for Jeff full time.
“We've both always worked, up until he was disabled, he was a hard worker, always paid our insurance,” Stacy Long said. “And then when you really badly need it, where's it at?”
Stacy said they can't pay for the flight; they're already broke from the experimental treatment.
"If it works, great, if it doesn't, we tried, but never did I imagine in my wildest dreams we would be where we are, ever,” she said.
They say they want nothing more than to get back to Atlanta to have the support of their family, but right now, there's no possible way for them to afford it.
“It's been so heartbreaking to see him go through this when he wants to go home so badly,” Stacy Long said.
For a week, their dog, Elmo, kept Jeff company in the hospital in California, but Jeff’s mother had to pick Elmo up.
“He can't go back on the medical flight with us,” Stacy Long said.
The Longs say their medical insurance refuses to pay to get Jeff home from California, but if they had purchased travel insurance, they would have been covered.
“It’s such a sad thing, and I don't even know how much travel insurance costs, but if you're in a position like we are, it would be worth it, every cent,” Stacy Long said.
Stacy Long says she didn't know much about travel insurance before they went to Mexico.
“Especially with his condition, I would have purchased that,” she said.
The Longs have a GoFundMe page. For information on how to donate, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/teamlongals-com
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