Boardman man faces $50k foreign medical bill following wife's fatal cruise accident
A Boardman man is facing the unimaginable after a freak accident while on a cruise with his wife.
It all started with a tropical, relaxing trip Lee and Linda Bovard embarked on earlier this month to several ports, including Panama. But what started as a picture-perfect trip to paradise ended in tragedy.
While on the ship, Linda Bovard fell and hit her head, causing a rapid brain bleed. Lee attempted to get his wife to a Miami hospital back in the United States, but her condition wouldn't allow it.
Linda underwent surgery in a Panama hospital to drain fluid from her brain. It was then doctors saw her brain wasn't registering any activity. She was taken off life support on Tuesday, January 23.
"We're getting bits and parts of everything and he's in a country where they don't speak English," said Reid Lamport, Pastor at Church of the Rock in Poland. "And he's there by himself."
While Lee processes the death of his wife, he is faced with another hurdle. Panama doesn't accept American health insurance. The cost of medical and phone bills are totaling about $50,000 USD. The hospital won't release Linda's body to her husband until that bill is paid.
"At that time Lee was told he needed to come up with $50,000 upfront, Linda was still being medically tended to," Lamport added. "So, when we got that word, we're chasing everything. How can we get money to him? How is he going to take care of the situation?"
"What people have done at this point in one day has been phenomenal," Pastor Lamport added. "And I think it's going to allow Linda's remains to come back sooner."
A community coming together during an unimaginable tragedy, helping Lee bring his wife back home.
Pastor Lamport added Linda's adult children are with Lee in Panama as they work to pay the hospital bill. One child speaks Spanish fluently, which has been a help to Lee at the hospital.
Visit this GoFundMe link to donate to the Bovard family during this time.