ALVARADO, Texas -- For 13 days now, Sara Beltran Hernandez, a 26-year-old undocumented mother of two from El Salvador, has been very, very sick, according to her legal team. In fact, they say Sara told them that doctors said she likely has a brain tumor.
"She’s been having nose bleeds, convulsions, she’s been having very bad headaches," explains paralegal Melissa Zuniga.
Yet Wednesday night, Sara's legal team tells WFAA she was removed from Huguley Hospital in Burleson and brought back to the ICE detention center in Alvarado, where she's been held now for more than a year.
No one is exactly sure why she was taken out of the hospital.
Zuniga, along with Sara's sister Raquel, flew in from New York Thursday to visit with Sara and demand she be released to her family, who they believe can make the best decisions for Sara's medical care.
"Every day we lose, her memory gets worse. Every day we lose, we have a less chance of her surviving and her seeing her kids again, her seeing her mother again," Zuniga says.
For its part, an immigration and customs spokeswoman released this statement to WFAA:
"Ms. Beltran-Hernandez was discharged from the hospital on Feb. 22 and returned to ICE custody at the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas. During her stay at the hospital, ICE ensured that she was able to speak to her family and to her attorney by phone. Like all detainees in our care, Ms. Beltran will continue to have access to 24 hour emergency medical care and to any required specialized treatment at an outside facility."
Members of the El Salvador Consulate also visited with Sara Thursday, telling us they are urging the feds to get Sara the help she needs, and fast.
Fatma Marouf, who has been retained as Sara's local attorney, says she will ask a judge to consider releasing Sara in an immigration proceeding called a redetermination hearing. She said she was also working to get copies of the woman's medical documents from the hospital on Friday.
"She is supposed to see a doctor again Monday," said Marouf.
According to her, Sara arrived in the U.S. in late 2015 because of domestic and gang violence in El Salvador.
Her asylum request has been denied, but Marouf says that decision was being appealed when she became ill on Feb. 20 and collapsed at the detention center.
"It’s not fair, it’s not humane," Zuniga says.
The family will keep pushing for help; they believe this woman's life depends on it.
On Friday WFAA received the following letter written by Sara, translated from Spanish to English:
I feel dizzy, with pain. Heavy eyes. Nausea. If I walk fast, I feel dizzy. Noise really bothers me. I have not eaten since yesterday (when I ate a salad) because I have no appetite. Sometimes, I forget things. The tongue is not always responsive.
Doctor said that I had a brain tumor, that it was three times the normal size, and that treatment was needed. They told me that on Monday I would see a neurosurgeon and that he/she would evaluate whether it was cancerous or not.
The hospital provided me with a CD with my medical analysis [and] test images. I do not know where they are because the officer who look at my belongings did not return them when I got back [to the detention center]. The hospital nurse told me that I should have it with me.
At the previous detention center, they gave me Tylenol and Ibuprofen for the headache. At the hospital, they gave me another drug, but here [in the current detention center] they are providing me with Tylenol.
If something happens to me, I want my mom to be the person to be deciding for me.Since yesterday, I did not have the opportunity to speak with my mother because they did not allow me to. Eventually, an immigration staff member allowed me when I told her about it.