Amanda Rangel and Amanda Whitney are like sisters. They've been inseparable since meeting at daycare more than 20 years ago.
“They've been through thick and thin, they've had their ups and downs,” said Patricia Rangel-Young, Amanda Rangel’s mother. “We've been to so many graduations, so many celebrations. She's been at our side.”
The most recent celebration - Amanda Whitney's graduation with a nursing degree from Texas A&M Corpus Christi December 16th.
“She went to school to be a nurse because she believed in helping other people,” said Amanda Rangel. “She's always been there for me.”
Two days after graduating, Amanda was on her way to a job interview when she crashed on the Harbor Bridge. Emergency Medical Technicians treated her at the scene and sent her home. Later that week, Whitney’s aunt and cousin took her on a cruise - a graduation gift. However, one day into her voyage, something was very wrong.
“She sat down at dinner and all of a sudden blood started running out of her nose,” said Rangel. “She started bleeding out of her ears and she was throwing up blood."
Whitney’s condition was so serious, the Coast Guard airlifted her off the ship, and took her to a Louisiana hospital. During the admissions process, Whitney discovered she no longer had health insurance, so the hospital treated her bleeding and discharged her. Shortly after, she started bleeding again.
This time, she went to Louisiana State University's medical center. Meanwhile, Rangel was at home with no way to help her friend.
“It's devastating, especially with the holidays,” said Rangel. “I never knew my best friend - this would happen to her.”
Now the Rangels are raising money to pay Whitney's medical bills and get her home safely.
“Just bring her home,” said Rangel-Young, who thinks of Whitney like a daughter. “Please bring her home, she needs to be here, she has no one up there.”
Rangel and her mother left Corpus Christi, bound for Louisiana Tuesday evening. She's set up a website to help raise $30,000 to help cover Whitney's medical bills and travel expenses.
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