The Maine Border Patrol agent hospitalized with COVID-19 in March while working in Texas at the southern border has been transported to a new treatment facility, where his family and coworkers are hoping he will make a “full and speedy recovery.”
Jason Schneider, acting chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Houlton Sector, announced on Sunday that agent Kostas Papadopoulos had been moved from the Texas hospital where he had been since March, when he contracted the illness, and was being taken to a new facility closer to home.
“Looking past the badge reveals a universal truth – behind every man and woman in uniform is a woman that loves them. That family has a right to expect their loved one to return home at the end of the shift,” Schneider said in a video shared on his Twitter account. “With that, I’m happy to report that Kostas has departed Texas and is en route to an advanced medical facility closer to home. With the support and encouragement of his family and friends, we hope he completes a full and speedy recovery.”
Papadopoulos was deployed to Texas on March 1 “to assist with the current migrant crisis” and, that same month was hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a GoFundMe page created to benefit him and his family. The page does not specify how long he was in Texas before he got sick.
Papadopoulos was admitted to the hospital in March and was later moved to the intensive care unit for more than a month, the page states.
“Being hospitalized for so long and far from family/friends has placed a tremendous burden on this family. Their family, friends, co-workers of the U.S. Border Patrol, and church family agree that Kostas & Jackie would offer the utmost support to another family in need,” organizer Dayna Lincoln wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Thus, we feel it is time to ask that our community offer support to them during this difficult time.”
The fundraising page was created to “help offset costs for an out-of-pocket medical evacuation flight from Texas to Boston, where Kostas will be further evaluated,” Lincoln wrote. The page later stopped accepting donations once they had raised the amount of money needed to pay for Papadopoulos’ private transport.
In a statement included with Schneider’s video on Sunday, Jaclyn Papadopoulos called the support from Kostas’ friends, loved ones and extended USBP family “overwhelming.”
“While many people are interested in the circumstances leading up to his illness and the handling of his medical treatment, my family’s only concern is to bring him home,” she wrote. “Like his coworkers, my husband is a proud public servant and has no interest in public attention. The decision to create a ‘GoFundMe’ account was made after all other options for his medical transfer were exhausted.”
Papadopoulos said the support of friends, family and fellow Border Patrol personnel “has been invaluable during the most difficult time.”
She added: “For now, my family wishes to remain solely focused on getting Kostas home and attending to his full recovery.”