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Family of foreign exchange student trying to keep hospital from sending him home

SUPERIOR, WI (WTAQ) - The family of a Wisconsin foreign exchange student from Pakistan is trying to prevent a Minnesota hospital from sending the student back home.

20-year-old Muhammad Shahzaib-Bajwa was injured last November, when he and his friends were driving from Minneapolis back to UW-Superior -- and their vehicle hit a deer.

Bajwa has been comatose since the accident, and he's now at a hospital in Duluth. His brother said it might be a couple years before doctors can find out how much more the victim can recover.

In the meantime, he tells the Associated Press that the Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center has urged the family to sign consent forms to return Bazwa to Pakistan.

His family is against it, saying he faces a certain death if he returns. The hospital says the man will not be allowed to remain in the U.S. legally, once his visa expires February 28th. Bazwa's family says it's looking for every possible avenue to extend his stay.

The AP reported last year that hospitals often reduce high treatment costs for foreign citizens by sending them back home without review by immigration authorities or the courts. The AP said Bajwa's health bill is now up to $350,000 -- and he's only insured for $100,000.

The family said the hospital is not tapping that policy, so he can get care in Pakistan. The brother said it would only cover about three months.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)