Tyler Perry covered couple’s 14k hospital bill in Mexico so they could finally leave

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In October, Tyler Perry had a grand opening party for his studio in Atlanta. He’s also planning to use some of the 330-acre space to build a shelter for trafficked girls and boys and battered women. That’s not the only amazing plan that Tyler’s working on. He also recently paid a $14,000 hospital bill for a man in Mexico so that he and his wife could leave the country. TMZ has more:

Tyler Perry just rescued a couple who were essentially trapped in a Mexican hospital, which wouldn’t let them leave until their bill was paid — and the story is WILD!!!

Here’s the deal … Atlanta couple Tori Austin and her fiance, Stephen Johnson, were recently enjoying themselves on a cruise … but had to get to a hospital onshore ASAP after Stephen suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with pancreatitis, diabetes and a kidney infection.

They ended up in a Mexican hospital called Centro Medico Americano in Progreso, where he was treated with dialysis and other procedures to alleviate his near-fatal ailments.

Fast-forward to this past week, when Tori and Stephen were told they couldn’t leave the hospital until their bill was paid in full — which, at that point, had totaled up to a whopping $14,000. Their families started a GoFundMe page, but it had hardly racked up enough donations to cover them. Enter Tyler … who heard about this and offered to pay it himself.

We’ve learned that Tyler tried calling up the hospital and giving them his credit card info to cover the tab entirely — but he was rebuffed, and instead … we’re told he ended up having to wire the money, which should hopefully arrive by Monday.

[From TMZ]

That’s such a lovely, lovely gesture by Tyler. I don’t even know where to start with this: I know people who have pancreatitis and diabetes, and know that that combination can be excruciating and make daily life difficult. I can’t imagine adding a kidney infection on top of that, being hospitalized in another country, and then being told that you can’t leave until you pay a $14,000 bill. The hospital obviously wants its money, but most people don’t have that just lying around, ready to hand over. I’m glad that GoFundMe exists, but am disgusted that so many people have needed to turn to it to ask for help paying medical bills. Tyler was also going to cover a medical flight, but Stephen should be well enough to fly on a commercial flight this week. I’m glad that he’s OK and will be home with Tori and loved ones for the holidays.


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16 Responses to “Tyler Perry covered couple’s 14k hospital bill in Mexico so they could finally leave”

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  1. Kittycat says:

    I will check the article because you would think travel insurance would cover some of the costs

    • Guest2.0 says:

      Unfortunately not everyone takes out travel insurance due to the cost. I always get travel insurance but I’ve known people who don’t.

      • Kittycat says:

        I’m in Canada and I have no medical issues.

        For my vacation to Colombia I am paying $100 for insurance.

        I feel like people don’t take out insurance mainly because they think nothing will happen.

    • BlueSky says:

      I’ve never been on a cruise before so I am not sure when you book it if that is an option or not. I would assume so. Most people don’t opt to take it. I’m traveling to England next year so I opted for travel insurance.

    • ME says:


      Travel insurance is NOT expensive. If you can afford to go on vacation, you can afford travel insurance. It should be mandatory so things like this don’t happen. It cost 50 to 100 bucks. Either way Tyler Perry is a very generous man. Good for him for helping.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Agreed. Our family of five went a a very costly vacation, and third party insurance for full villa rental reimbursement, flight reimbursement cancellation for any reason, evacuation due to weather and medical evacuation, plus delays, loss of baggage and more was less than $800 for all of us. That’s about $150 pp for EVERYTHING.

        If you are spending a chunk on vacation, it’s crazy not to spend a small amount on insurance, and there are many tiers of coverage to be economical for everyone.

        Here’s just one option for comparison of many companies’ offerings:https://www.squaremouth.com/travel-insurance-quotes

    • Cdawg76 says:

      Do not assume the didn’t take out travel insurance because it isn’t always the case.

      We purchased insurance before out last trip and ended up with an almost $20,000 bill that the insurance company rejected stating it was due to a pre-existing illness. None of our family members have anything pre-existing. If they find anything within 90 days that has any symptom that is remotely similar or can be a symptom of what you are treated for they will reject you i.e. headaches, runny nose, a head cold you had 3 months ago, etc.

  2. runcmc says:

    The craziest thing is that by US standards, that bill is almost affordable. The same treatment in the us + hospital stay would probably end up being at least double that.

    Last year I was in the hospital for two days to get treatment for rhabdo (it’s an exercise induced illness). It was just fluids + monitoring (after the testing that led to diagnosis) … and my bill was around 12k. Insurance covered about 9k of that but still, it was a lot of money for not a lot of medical intervention.

    • Betsy says:


      • runcmc says:

        Lol of course. I’m pretty sure a ridiculously high percentage of the people who end up with rhabdo got there through crossfit. I haven’t done it since.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Sadly that was my first thought too. $14k isn’t a huge bill by U.S. standards. (Not the point of the story. I get that but if they weren’t being held hostage, the payment plan on $14k wouldn’t seem outrageous compared to U.S. medical bills).

  3. Forwhatitsworth says:

    What an awesome guy!

    • Tulip says:

      Agree, Tyler Perry is amazing for doing this. He made a real difference in someone’s life- talk about life goals!😊

  4. Other Renee says:

    Good for him. That was a very nice thing to do. I’ve been on two cruises and don’t remember being offered travel insurance on either one. I could be wrong. It was a long time ago. I would so love to go on another one but it’s not in the cards anytime soon.

  5. JanetFerber says:

    I couldn’t love Tyler Perry more. He is such a good man. God, I wish he were President. I’m so tired of the crooked, nasty assholes. Decent men, step up!

  6. Lillian says:

    Bless this man’s lovely soul.