American couple claims they’re being held hostage in Mexican hospital

Stephen Johnson says he needed medical attention when he and his fiancee docked in Progreso, Mexico, spent three days in the ICU, and claims he can’t leave until they pay $14,000 bill.
2:29 | 11/22/19

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Transcript for American couple claims they’re being held hostage in Mexican hospital
We turn now to an American couple fighting to get back they say they're being held hostage in Mexico in of all places a hospital. Our will reeve here with us now and say they're not able to pay the bill and the hospital not letting them go. Yeah, good morning. Stephen Johnson and tori Austin were on a cruise when Stephen had a medical emergency. Doctors saved his life but now they have this huge bill and the hospital won't let them leave. This morning, an American couple says they're trapped in a Mexican hospital being held against their will over an unpaid medical bill. They locked the windows so we couldn't open up the windows and so far we just can't leave until this $14,000 bill is paid. Reporter: Stephen Johnson and fiancee tori Austin say they were vacationing on a carnival cruise when two days after the start of the cruise, Stephen needed medical attention. He was diagnosed with diabetes, pancreatitis and acute kidney infection. At that time his blood sugar was at a 900. Reporter: On board the ship they say they received excellent care but his condition was serious. Officials told them that once they docked in the Mexican city of Progresso he would need be to taken to the hospital. After spending three days in intensive care, the couple says they were slapped with a $14,000 bill and allege the hospital won't let them leave until they pay. The plan is to pay the bill. It's not to skip out on the bill. You know, they saved his life. His life is more than $14,000. Reporter: Tori says she offered to pay $7,000 up front and then work out an installment plan to pay the rest when they got back home to Atlanta. The bleeding, this is one of the areas I was attacked. Reporter: The couple claims Johnson was injured when hospital administrators physically kept them from walking out of the building. We tried to leave Tuesday but we were physically assaulted by the administrative staff. They physically were pushing on him. Reporter: ABC news reached out to the hospital and has yet to receive a response. The couple has been in contact with U.S. Officials who could only give them a list of lawyers. Carnival says they are not in a position to comment on personal matters related to passenger health or financial arrangements regarding treatment but that their care team is providing support. Also pays to get that health insurance, the travel protection. Never heard of such -- Wild story. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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