A retired Idaho school teacher who claims a Mexican hospital is holding her hostage will be released on Friday on condition she pay the remainder of her $40,000 medical bill, according to her family.
Vikki Moormann, a former English teacher at Coeur d’Alene High School in Idaho, was vacationing in the Mexican coastal city of Nuevo Vallarta with her sister-in-law in late April when she began vomiting uncontrollably.
After checking into the Hospital San Javier Riviera Nayarit, she was told by doctors that she had a urinary tract infection and was on the brink of pneumonia – a diagnosis that seemed strange to Moormann, who said that aside from her stomach issues she felt fine. She was later diagnosed with Ketoacidosis and placed into a medically induced coma so that doctors could use an intubation tube to treat her condition, according to her family.
Moormann's son, Ryen, told Fox News his mother is expected to be released on Friday but said the family is forced to pay thousands of dollars in fees -- a bill Moormann said might be part of an extortion plot.
Ryen Moormann said he paid the hospital $5,000 in addition to the $1,000 already paid in cash by his mother and $3,000 from her credit card. He said the family must still pay $31,000 in fees from her stay, which began on May 1.
"We just want to get her home as soon as possible," Moormann told Fox News from his home in Idaho.
"This has been so hard on my mom. She's basically been held hostage," he said. "If we have to, we’ll mortage the house. We need her home."
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover the bill.
When questioned about Moormann, a representative from the hospital told Fox News on Thursday that the patient’s family is working with the hospital to pay the bill.
The hospital representative, who refused to identify herself by name, said that the retired educator was "content" and blamed the media and Moormann’s son for the reports that she was being held against her will.
"We can’t physically hold her in the hospital," the representative said. "No one is going to hold her against her will."
The representative said Moormann is scheduled to leave on Saturday but her son said the hospital changed the date to Friday after media coverage of her ordeal.
Ryen Moormann noted that a representative from the U.S. Consulate told him it was "illegal" for the hospital to hold his mother against her will. Moormann is expected to arrive in the U.S. late Friday.
The trip to Mexico was supposed to be a way for the former schoolteacher to relax as the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death approaches.
"I’m just so frustrated," the 67-year-old Moormann told Fox News from her hospital room on Thursday. "I feel like I’m a hostage here."
Since ending her teaching career, Moormann has become a published author, penning a series of murder-mysteries set in Coeur d’Alene along with fellow retired educators Yvonne Deitz and Susan Schreiber.
Fox News' Cristina Corbin and Andrew O'Reilly contributed to this report.