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Injured El Paso marine back in United States, showing progress in his recovery

EL PASO, Texas -- Alex Ortiz, the El Paso marine who was injured while fighting in Ukraine, is back in the United States and is showing progress in his health, his mother tells ABC-7.

Ortiz sustained life-threatening injuries while in Ukraine and received medical treatment in a German hospital. His family had been trying to get him back in the U.S. and had to charter a special medical flight home.

Sara Hernandez, Ortiz's mother, says her son is currently getting treatment in a San Antonio hospital. His entire family is taking turns driving and flying from around the country to go visit him. Hernandez says her son is showing great progress.

Hernandez shared a video of she and her son in the hospital room. In the video Hernandez is giving her son a kiss while wearing a mask and face shield, and it appears Alex is leaning into the kiss. Hernandez says her son has sat up to give her kisses and is opening his eyes.

“That little bit was enough hope to keep me going," Hernandez said with a big smile on her face. She watches the video of her son constantly.

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

Hernandez had to get a special loan with the U.S. government to charter the medical flight from Germany. Hernandez says the flight cost $112,900. A GoFundMe page set up for Ortiz has 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 said to those who have donated and prayed for her son.

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Dylan McKim


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