(NewsNation) — Alex Ortiz, a Marine veteran who was severely injured after volunteering his services to Ukraine in their fight against Russia, has finally returned home after finding it nearly impossible to get back to the United States.
“Alex arrived back in the states safely on September 6th,” his mother, Sara, wrote in an update on his Gofundme page Monday. “We thank God he is doing well and that he is stable. He is still fighting pneumonia but he will overcome.”
The Hernandez family, who are from El Paso, have been raising money for their son ever since finding out he was critically injured by shrapnel back in August.
They were told that Ortiz — who suffered a traumatic brain injury, battled through Post Traumatic Meningoencephalitis Ventriculitis and is still fighting pneumonia in both lungs — needed to be transferred home on a specially equipped, ICU hospital plane that cost an estimated $300,000.
They were also told Veteran Affairs would not assist, being as he went independently to Ukraine.
“The VA has said that they couldn’t help us; different organizations have said they couldn’t help us because he went on his own accord; even the United States government has said, ‘You are on your own,’” Alex’s stepfather, Cruz Hernandez, said to NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” in an August interview.
After flying to Kiev to find Ortiz and transferring him to a hospital in Germany, the Hernandez family can finally say their boy is home, although still recovering.
“His doctors have planned to put some weight on him as he arrived extremely malnourished,” his mom went on to write on his Gofundme page.
At the time of this article, the Hernandez family have raised $78,891 of their goal of $150,000 and it is unclear how much they ended up spending getting their son home. They are, however, very happy he’s back.
“Alex is a fighter and we believe he will come out on top with God’s help. We hope that if he progresses in a positive direction he will be ready for his next phase of rehabilitation in the next few weeks. Please continue to pray for Alex and us as a family. Also please continue to share Alex’s story with everyone,” Sara wrote.
Check back for updates as this is a developing story.