Medical condition update on Jon Hammar

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 04, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Factor Follow Up" segment tonight. As you may know "The Factor" and the Fox News Channel were instrumental in getting former Marine Corporal Marine Jon Hammar released from a Mexican prison a couple of weeks ago. Mr. Hammar was incarcerated last August on bogus gun charges and was actually chained to his bed at one point and endured much in that filthy prison.

Now the Corporal is experiencing some major health problems which required hospitalization.

Joining us from Miami, Dr. Tomas Villanueva who is currently treating the Corporal. All right Doctor, let's walk through this. So Corporal Hammar gets released from the prison in Matamoros, he comes across the border. He's picked up by his father and the two begin to drive back to south Florida.


O'REILLY: But he has to stop in Louisiana and go into a hospital. Why?

VILLANUEVA: Well, actually, after he was let go by the prison, he started experiencing a lot of fever, diarrhea and headaches and actually vomiting as well. He was immensely dehydrated he just couldn't tolerate working his way down to Miami so he was treated over in Lafayette.

O'REILLY: All right so he drives from Brownsville, Texas to Lafayette, Louisiana and all the while he is sick. So you have to assume that he was sick in the Mexican prison in whatever brought the illness on happened there, correct?

VILLANUEVA: Yes, sir. As a matter of fact, actually his symptoms started between seven or 10 days prior to being let go, started having copious amounts of diarrhea, having more than five bowel movements a day. Not tolerating taking anything orally as well. And then the fevers and the headaches started actually occurring once he was let go in Texas itself. He just could not tolerate the drive to Miami and it was around Lafayette, Louisiana is where they decided to stop in the emergency room.

O'REILLY: What was the -- what was the genesis of the illness what was wrong with him?

VILLANUEVA: Well actually it could be just a combination of already just being so severely dehydrated from the diarrhea itself. He received a lot of IV fluids several liters worth. They had a full work up including they did a lumbar puncture while he was in Lafayette.

O'REILLY: Ok so they work him up in Lafayette. And lumbar puncture means they were looking for meningitis -- symptoms of meningitis, right?

VILLANUEVA: That's one of the things. It also could be some other causes but the most common being meningitis.

O'REILLY: Ok. So then he gets back in the car and he arrives in Miami and then you see him. What kind of condition was he in?

VILLANUEVA: When he arrived in Miami his main complaint the diarrhea has improved. But he was having severe headaches. Particularly when he was standing up and he was very uncomfortable. He was still a little dehydrated as well. Most likely we thought the most common cause is what we call post lumbar puncture headaches. It's pretty -- it's common particularly among young men in their 20's. It occurs about 10 to 30 percent of the time after lumbar puncture.

O'REILLY: All right now all of this stuff happened because he was treated poorly in the Mexican prison, correct?

VILLANUEVA: He just -- he was just so severely and yes he did not have access to enough food or water. When we did the examination we also found multiple mosquito bites throughout his entire body. He lost a lot of muscle tone. He lost over maybe 15 pounds as well. Poor Johnny was in a bad state.

O'REILLY: All right prognosis for him going forward.

VILLANUEVA: Fortunately it's very positive. It's a good thing he came out of prison at the time he did. Truth is that diarrhea is one of the most common cause of death around the world. One in five deaths occur around the world from diarrhea so it's very fortunate that he did come out at the time he did.

O'REILLY: All right. And we're happy that -- that happened. But I am a bit surprised at his physical condition because he's a strong guy, a former Marine.


O'REILLY: Combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I mean he's not a wilting flower.

VILLANUEVA: Not at all.

O'REILLY: And he comes out of that prison and -- and he is in as you put it, you know, very serious shape where he had to be in the hospital. He gets out of the hospital. You get a hold of him. And so you know one can just imagine if he had remained in the prison anything could happen.

VILLANUEVA: Yes actually it's pretty much bad things could have happened if he continued with this symptoms conceivable speaking we could have lost Johnny.

O'REILLY: Now when you speak to the Corporal. Does he --does he tell you about what happened to him inside? Because we're going to speak to him when he is stronger and a little bit better. We are looking forward to that but --


O'REILLY: -- what has he said to you.

VILLANUEVA: Well actually not much. When we first had the opportunity of meeting him he wasn't feeling very well. He was having horrible headaches. Once he started feeling better, he was somewhat cryptic in his answers. He just wasn't ready to speak on specifics on his experience while he was there.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, we're going to wait until he feels much better and we hope we will get that on this program. Doctor thanks very much we appreciate you coming on this evening.

And by the way some of you have asked about helping the Hammar family with expenses. They really appreciate it but they would rather you donate to the rehab center that helped Jon with his post traumatic stress situation and that is The Pathway Home, The Pathway Home in California's Napa Valley.

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