Injured El Paso sailor returns to US, showing progress in recovery


EL PASO, Texas — Alex Ortiz, the sailor from El Paso who was injured in combat in Ukraine, is back in the United States and showing progress in his health, his mother told ABC-7.

Ortiz suffered life-threatening injuries while in Ukraine and received medical treatment at a German hospital. His family had tried to bring him back to the United States and had to charter a special medical flight home.

Sara Hernandez, Ortiz’s mother, says her son is currently being treated at a hospital in San Antonio. His whole family takes turns driving and flying across the country to visit him. Hernandez says his son is making great progress.

Hernandez shared a video of her and her son in the hospital room. In the video, Hernandez kisses his son while wearing a mask and face shield, and it looks like Alex is leaning into the kiss. Hernandez says his son sat down to give him kisses and opens his eyes.

“That little bit was enough hope to keep me going,” Hernandez said with a big smile on his face. She constantly watches her son’s video.

The plan, Hernandez says, is to put Ortiz through a three-month therapy program in San Antonio to hopefully get him walking and talking, then bring him back to El Paso, where the family hopes to find more doctors to continue his recovery. .

Hernandez had to secure a special loan from the US government to charter the medical flight from Germany. Hernandez says the theft cost $112,900. A GoFundMe page created for Ortiz raised $78,871. Hernandez is grateful for all the support the community has shown.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Hernandez told those who donated and prayed for her son.

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