Family stuck in Portugal after delivering babies 4 months early

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- A happy "babymoon" in Europe has turned into a months-long nightmare for a couple from New Jersey.

Back in May, Kim Spratt went into labor while on vacation with her husband in Portugal and delivered twins four months early.

Their newborn son did not survive. Now the Spratts want to bring their daughter home but say their insurance company won't let them return to the United States.

Fred and Kim Spratt spoke with their doctor before departing for Portugal in May.

Their twins weren't due for four months.

Their last trip as a family of two became a nightmare when Kim went into labor, their son did not survive, and their daughter born at 1 pound 8 ounces was fighting for her life.

Now more than 100 days later, they have yet to return to their Jackson, New Jersey home.

"It must be completely surreal," Eyewitness News said.

"It is every day. We just want to have a normal life like any other parent has with their newborn," Kim said.

The couple spoke to Eyewitness News over Skype and says doctors say their daughter at almost 5 pounds is healthy enough to go back to the states, but not on a commercial flight.



She needs a medical transport, something the couple says their High Mark Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance will not pay for.

"They say no. They decline to pay for it. They are claiming that this is not a medical necessity. Their stance was, well, just sit in Portugal and wait until she could fly commercially," Fred said.

But now the clock is ticking. The couple says they are working with the U.S. consulate in Portugal, but they have learned they may only be allowed to stay in the country for a few more weeks.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for them. They have received an $82,000 quote to pay for the medical transport out of pocket, but they want their insurance provider to step up.

When Eyewitness News reached out to High Mark Blue Cross/Blue Shield they sent us a statement saying, "We cannot comment on this case due to privacy laws. We can stress that members need to understand their benefits program including what is a covered health insurance service and what is not a part of their benefits."

In the meantime, Kim's parents are waiting by the phone in Eatontown, New Jersey.

Monday, they Skyped with the new parents.

"Still like to hold her and tickle her little foot," Kim's father said.

"They had enough. They are at their wits end. They are just...they don't know where else to turn," Kim's mother said.
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