Pregnant Colombian woman, stranded in Canada, thanks strangers for donations

Sandra Medina is 37 weeks pregnant and has no insurance. She can now afford the cost of having a baby in hospital thanks to a GoFundMe page. Slavo Kutas / Global News

Without the help of strangers she’s never met, Sandra Medina wouldn’t be able to pay the bill for the impending birth of her child.

“She’s feels very grateful,” said Alejandra Saenz, Medina’s daughter who translated for her mother.

“She is a little bit sentimental today about people in Canada that have helped her.”

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Medina is 37 weeks pregnant and stranded in Canada because of border closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

She has no insurance, which means she would have to pay the hospital bills for the impending birth herself.

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She couldn’t afford it and, as a last resort, started an online fundraiser. She raised more than $5,000 in 24 hours.

Wiping away tears the day after, Saenz said her mother had no words to express herself.

“Just ‘thank you so much.”

Sandra Medina said she wants to thank everyone who contributed to the GoFundMe. GoFundMe

Saenz’ cousin, to whom she was very close, died suddenly in May, triggering the University of Saskatchewan student’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Saenz has no family in Canada and Medina rushed to be by her daughter’s side during the crisis, securing a ride on a returning humanitarian flight.

She planned to return home before her due date, but the Canadian government’s continuing extension of border closures means she can’t leave the country.

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She left Colombia in such a rush she wasn’t able to get health insurance that would have otherwise covered medical expenses.

A document given to Medina at a Saskatoon hospital showed a standard outpatient procedure could cost an uninsured non-Canadian about $1,000.

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An inpatient procedure in a standard ward costs approximately $4,500.

The pair are expecting to pay between $7,000 and $8,000.

She said the Colombian government wouldn’t provide health coverage while she is abroad and trips to the Colombian and Canadian embassies weren’t helpful.

The duo started a GoFundMe as a last resort and couldn’t believe the generosity.

Medina said she had slept peacefully for the first time in a long time after seeing the donations start to come in.

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