Central Florida family struggling to get back to U.S. with sick child on cruise

A Central Florida family is desperately seeking a way back to the United States after their son became severely ill on a cruise.

“This is all red. This swelling here is kind of drooping down his face,” said Nicole Mejias in a Facetime interview with FOX 35 News on Monday afternoon, showing us her son’s condition. She was inside the medical center aboard the Norwegian Sun.

Mejias says shortly after boarding the ship at Port Canaveral on Friday, a small cut above her 4-year-old’s eye turned into a major infection.  

UPDATE: Central Florida boy with serious eye infection on cruise arrives back in the U.S.

“The blood work came back that his levels were elevated again. Of course, we're worried about sepsis and the infection traveling to his brain and affecting his vision,” she said.


Her son, Roman, has been receiving care on the ship as the Melbourne family struggles to find a way back to the U.S.

Monday afternoon, they were docked in Cozumel, Mexico.  

“We obviously did not expect this type of situation to happen. So, because we don’t have passports, it’s difficult for us to get off the ship and back into the United States," she said.

Some cruises that begin and end in the U.S. do not require guests to have passports. In fact, Norwegian has a blog post about it up on its website.

Mejias says the cruise line has advised they leave the ship to get medical care in a hospital, but she fears they’ll be stranded in Mexico.  

“We contacted the coast guard, the embassy, the travel insurance company, airlift people, medevac, all of the things. We're having a really hard time trying to get out of here,” Mejias said.

At last check, the family had decided to stay on board. Mejias said the Sun left Mexico Monday evening to travel back to Florida. They’re scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning.

“It’s very frustrating. Very mentally draining,” she said.

The other issue the family is dealing with is insurance coverage. The family says they have a large bill that likely will not be covered. People have donated more than $6,000 in an online fundraiser.  Click here for more about the fundraiser.