DENVER - The family and friends of a former Denver Public Schools assistant principal are struggling to get her back to the U.S. after she suffered a massive stroke teaching abroad and is now in a coma.
Mechelle Renfroe suffered from the stoke two weeks ago. On Glasgow Coma Scale's, Renfroe is a 4, the score of 3 means a patient is in a vegetative state.
"She’s been in the coma the entire time, she’s never come out of it," said Heddy Santoro. "She is now one point away from being considered brain dead."
Renfroe worked as an assistant principal at Denver Public School's Holm Elementary. She recently moved to Dubai to fulfill her dream of teaching abroad.
"We were very sad when she left us to go to Dubai. Very sad," said Kim Garcia.
Now, her friends and family are struggling to get her home from Dubai. In Dubai, the country does not believe in DNR, or 'Do Not Resuscitate,' so Renfroe could spend decades in a coma in a Dubai hospital. Her family wants to bring her home so they can honor her medical wishes.
"She deserves the dignity to finish her life the way she deserved it to be finished. She doesn’t deserve to be laying there by herself," said Garcia.
Renfroe's brother, a veteran, is currently in Dubai trying to bring her back home. His only choice to bring Renfroe home is to medical evacuate her back to the U.S. at the cost of $250,000.
"The insurance will tap out at a certain point and we’re not sure when that point is, but after that, if she is not brought home, those medical bills will go to Carlos [her brother]," said Kacie Close. "For those medical bills to continue for another 40 years is devastating. She wouldn’t like that. She would want to be home. And that’s our goal."
Renfroe's friend started a GoFundMe page. It's already reached $14,000 in just a few days, but it's a long way to go to $250,000.
"This is an American, overseas, doing the most noble of professions, and she deserves a hero’s welcome. To be brought home and surrounded by loved ones," said Pam Anott.