Benefit to help couple get back to U.S. for medical care

by Mandy Moran Froemming
Union Editor

An Anoka couple are desperate to get back to the United States for medical care following an ATV accident while vacationing in Costa Rica.

Elissa and Ron Merritt, along with two friends, traveled to Central America last Wednesday for Elissa’s birthday.

According to information provided by family members, they were on an ATV trip when Elissa was swiped by a motorcycle, causing her to lose control of her ATV. She fell off and rolled into a 50 to 70 foot canyon, breaking both of her arms and her leg. Her leg was broken so badly a bone was protruding through the skin. Luckily she was wearing a helmet and she did not suffer from any internal bleeding.

After a more than two-hour rescue she was transferred to a hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Elissa has already undergone two surgeries and Costa Rican doctors want to do another this week. Family members report Ron has already paid $5,000 upfront and has been asked for an additional $10,000, which will only make a small dent in the couple’s medical expenses.

In an interview with FOX-9 TV, Ron said the couple do not have travel insurance and their health insurance is useless in Costa Rica.

A medical transport home could cost as much as $30,000. At this time, Elissa has been advised not to travel on a commercial flight.

Family members have been working to raise money to get Elissa back to the United States to receive medical care.

There is a fund-raiser planned for this Saturday at The Bebop Venue in Blaine from 5 to 9 p.m.

A benefit account has also been set up at Wells Fargo under Elissa Merritt Benefit Trust, Wells Fargo Banks, account 3728192075.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]