Tyler Perry pays hospital bill for Atlanta couple after emergency treatment in left them trapped in Mexico

Tyler Perry, Stephen Johnson, Tori Austin

A couple from Sandy Springs, Georgia got stuck in a Mexican hospital and held captive when they couldn’t pay the bill.

Stephen Johnson and his fiancée, Tori Austin, went on a cruise that sailed out of Galveston, Texas on the 11th of November, and were looking forward to their dream vacation. But, during the cruise, Stephen went into diabetic shock, and had to get checked into a hospital in Progreso, Mexico, where he received dialysis and a ventilator. But, afterwards, when he tried to leave, the doctors and staff would not let him without first paying his bill, which was $14,260.43, according to reports.

Stephen Johnson in Mexico hospital
Stephen Johnson lays in a Mexico hospital after suffering diabetic shock.
“I still feel like a captive now, because I can’t leave,” said Johnson. “It was like three or four of ’em, and they just kept pushing me, and I had to hold on to the rail. I was gonna start swinging and throwing and punching, because I was scared.” Johnson had no insurance, and wanted to pay it in installments, but they wouldn’t let him. Instead, the staff stopped him and Tori over and over again from leaving, even using a trash can lid at one point to keep them from exiting the hospital.

When word got out, many people donated, but the biggest one was from Tyler Perry. “I owe him my life,” Johnson told reporters. “I hope I get to meet him when I get back to Atlanta, because he deserves the biggest hug.”

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