TAMPA, Fla. - Two Tampa women are stranded in Mexico after a hit-and-run on scooters. Now, their families are desperate to bring them home.
Maria Ortega said her daughter, Natalia and Natalia's partner, Ashley, left on Monday for their first cruise together from Port of Tampa. The next day, Ortega received a call from Carnival that the women never re-boarded the cruise after a stop in Cozumel.
"About an hour later, my daughter somehow got ahold of me through someone's phone, and she told me they were in an accident. It was hit-and-run. They were being taken to the hospital. They were taken to San Miguel in Cozumel, a private hospital," she explained.
Pictured: Maria Ortega's daughter, Natalia and Natalia's partner, Ashley,
Ortega learned that the couple rented scooters from a third party in Mexico.
"My daughter has a broken arm. Her arm was sticking out and they just wrapped it up because she had no insurance," she said. "They've been trying to operate on her (Ashley's) foot and they keep telling her that it's not a surgery, but it is a surgery to clean her foot."
Because her daughter doesn't have health insurance, Natalia was discharged from the hospital.
Ortega said Ashley is awaiting surgery, but the hospital presented the couple with a hefty $10,000-$20,000 bill.
Ashley is awaiting surgery and Ortega says she can't leave unless she pays a $10,000-$20,000 bill in case insurance doesn't cover the cost of the operation.
"They will not let them leave until they come up with the money in case the insurance does not cover it. I need to be there. I need to know what's going on," she said.
To make matters worse, the two do not have their passports to fly home. Some Carnival cruise trips do not require passengers to bring a passport. But it is strongly recommended. Thursday, Ortega booked a flight out of TPA to help out in any way she could.
She said, "I need my babies home. Please help me get them home. I don't care if I have to get a passport. I need them home. I need them home."