Valley Man in Critical Condition After Surgery in Mexico

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BROWNSVILLE – A Rio Grande Valley family is warning others not to go to Mexico for surgical procedures.

Virginia and Arnold Palacios tell CHANNEL FIVE NEWS their brother Roy went to Tampico for a gastric bypass surgery.

"We were supportive of his decision because that's what he felt he needed to do and he couldn't afford to get surgery locally since he didn't have insurance," said Virginia Palacios.

Virginia claims her brother Roy is now in an intensive care unit. She said he developed an infection just before his scheduled discharge. Palacios says it led to septic shock and kidney.

"Their bills are just astronomical so far and he's a U.S. citizen, he's a tax payer and I think he deserves better than this," said Virginia Palacios.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to a Valley bariatric surgeon for perspective. Dr. Veronica Guerrero tells us the surgery is relatively safe, unless doctors fail to recognize signs of infection.

"When they're caught early they're very treatable" said Guerrero. "But when they're delayed that's when things kidney failure and septic shock could occur."

Guerrero encourages all Valley residents to seek out surgeons here in the United States.

"Know that regulations and things to improve patient safety and to guarantee patient safety are here," said Guerrero. "We cannot guarantee that at all and often times they don't exist in other countries."

The biggest concern is getting their brother Roy back to the United States. They're considering airlifting him, though it would be extremely costly.

"We just want to get him home," Palacios said tearfully. "And I know that they're saying he needs surgery again and I just want him to come home and have it here. I don't want him to go through this again and I don't know if he's going to make it. But we want to try to get him home."

The Palacios family is still seeking an affordable transport option to bring Roy home.

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