The parents of an 11-year-old leukemia patient who was snuck out of Phoenix hospital have come forth to say that the girl is fine and being treated in Mexico.
Authorities are concerned that Emily, who had undergone a month of chemotherapy and lost her right arm to complications, is at risk of dying from an infection. When her mother and brother snuck her out of the hospital last month, they removed an IV drip from a catheter that remains in her chest.
In an interview with Spanish-language television network Telemundo, Emily's mother Norma Bracamontes claimed she had no choice but to secretly remove her daughter because their insurance was running out and she wouldn’t be allowed to take her daughter to Mexico.
In a separate interview with NBC News on Wednesday, her father Luis said Emily safe in Mexico, without giving any specifics.
"She's well and she's fine," Bracamontes told the network.
A Phoenix police spokesman said investigators have yet to verify the father's claims and remain focused on finding the girl.
"There still is the possibility of criminal charges," Sergeant Steve Martos told Reuters. "Right now we're waiting to get all the facts on what happened and why."
On November 28, Norma Bracamontes, 35, was filmed slipping out of the hospital with Emily and Emily's brother.
Police said the mother unplugged the IV feed from her daughter's catheter, changed the youth's clothing in a hospital bathroom and walked out of the building. But because the catheter remains wedged in the girls heart, her risk of contracting a life-threatening infection have seriously increased.
Emily’s father told Telemundo that the medical bills had reached $1.37 million, close to his $2 million a year limit. He say they were told if they did not apply and get approve for Medicaid, they would have to start paying out of pocket.
What do you make of Bracamontes' saga? Can you empathize what they're going through or do you think they're selfishly putting their daughter at risk? Let us know in the comments.