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Atlanta couple stranded in Mexico after expensive hospital bill finally headed home

Media mogul Tyler Perry helped pay off the couple's steep medical bills. Now, they're on their way home.

ATLANTA — An Atlanta couple who was left stranded in Mexico after initially being unable to pay for their hospital bill following a health emergency during vacation is finally headed back home.

Stephen Johnson was on a cruise with his fiancée when he got incredibly sick. The cruise line rushed him to a private Mexican hospital, where he was treated for a kidney infection and diagnosed with diabetes. His care cost a lot of money, but they say they didn't expect to be held hostage until they paid it - in full.

RELATED: Tyler Perry helps pay for medical bills of Atlanta couple stranded in Mexico after health emergency

Now, with the hospital bill cleared, thanks to Tyler Perry's generosity, the couple is finally on their way back to Atlanta. Family told 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross they can't wait until he lands. 

"I can't breathe until he gets here," Desaree Gregory, Johnson's sister, told 11Alive. "I can't breathe until he gets here. I need to see my brother here."

RELATED: Family frustrated over process to bring home couple stranded in Mexico after expensive health emergency

Gregory said her brother will go straight to the hospital when they land for further treatment. 

Meanwhile, they said they learned a valuable lesson: to never travel without international traveler's insurance again.


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