The 33-year-old freelance cameraman who contracted Ebola in Liberia is fighting for his life at the University of Nebraska Medical Center this week. He’s also racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
According to a GoFundMe campaign launched Monday by his friends, Ashoka Mukpo’s medical bills could run in excess of $500,000.
The cost of the evacuation flight from Liberia to Omaha alone cost $150,000, not including the 40-person medical team that accompanied him on the flight, according to the campaign. Mukpo did have travelers’ insurance, but the policy excludes “catastrophic events or outbreaks,” and won’t pay for the treatment, the GoFundMe campaign says.
Doctors at the Texas hospital who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who became the first person to die of Ebola on U.S. soil, told Bloomberg that care can cost $1,000 per hour.
“We know that our original goal of $500,000 will likely not cover all of [Mukpo's] expenses, but we are doing all that we can to show our love and support,” friend Stephanie Federico writes on the GoFundMe campaign page.
So far, the campaign has received 206 donations, totaling just over $16,000.
Mukpo is reportedly in stable condition since returning to the states. On Thursday, he received a blood transfusion from Kent Brantley, the American doctor who recovered from the disease after treatment in Atlanta.
Update 10/15/2014: NBC has agreed to cover Mukpo's medical bills. Read more here.
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