Fundraisers to help collect money to get a Marshall County native out of a Chinese hospital are being planned.
John Berisford, 36, a 1996 graduate of John Marshall High School, was teaching English at a Chinese university when he became ill in March. He fell into a coma and has been in the hospital since.
His doctors have deemed him stable, but he cannot fly in a commercial airplane. He must be transported via air ambulance. Before the Yangzhou People's No. 1 Hospital in China will release him, however, he must pay his hospital bill in full. The bill is more than $20,000. The air ambulance is expected to cost $65,000 alone.
Marshall County native John Berisford is shown at the Yangzhou People’s No. 1 Hospital in China. He is a West Virginia University graduate.
Berisford's sister Dawn Borosko of Youngstown, Ohio, said she last talked to her brother March 13, and the next day she got a call that he had been admitted to the Yangzhou People's No. 1 Hospital in Yangzhou, China.
About $12,000 has been raised online, and several fundraisers have been planned, including:
Borosko said Sen. Jay Rockefeller's office continues to be helpful, but she wished there was more the government could do.
"I wish the government would help, but I don't think they're going to drop that kind of money. Plus, I need to look into seeing if the Armed Forces are willing to help with their planes. I'm sure they have a medevac plane, but that's something I have to look into and see if they're willing to help with," she said.