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Injured Pastor Back in Chicago After He's Flown Home on Medical Flight

By Victoria Johnson | January 15, 2014 3:45pm
 Ramon Nieves with his wife, Yolanda.
Ramon Nieves with his wife, Yolanda.
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Courtesy Nieves Family

LOGAN SQUARE — The Logan Square pastor injured last week while on a volunteer mission in Guatemala, is back home in Chicago after being flown back on a medical flight.

Rev. Ramon Nieves of the Humboldt Park United Methodist Church in Logan Square was on a volunteer mission trip with his wife, Yolanda, when on Friday he collapsed into a pool and was found unconscious — apparently underwater for several minutes before anyone found him.

"Ramon and Yolanda Nieves safely arrived back to Chicago late last night," his eldest daughter, Yvonne Nieves, wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday. "Ramon is in the hospital receiving tests and medical care. No additional info can be shared at this time. The family thanks you for your well wishes, prayers and continued donations to cover the cost of the air ambulance."

Nieves was in critical condition after the accident, but his condition had stabilized by the time he and his wife got on the flight, Yvonne said.

"While he is still in a medically induced coma and in 'critical but stable condition,' he has shown some very slight signs of improvement," Yvonne wrote in an update before the flight Tuesday. "He will continue to receive medical attention at a Chicago hospital upon arrival."

A friend who did not wish to be quoted directly said the family had maxed out credit cards to cover the flight and the hospital stay in Guatemala City, and were still in need of financial help.

The air ambulance alone cost somewhere around $30,000 and was not covered by the pastor's insurance, the friend said.

Information about how to donate can be found on the Logan Square Neighborhood Association website, as well as on the pastor's Facebook page.