Back on American soil

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FRACKVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A rare positive story during the pandemic.

It’s the end of a story we told you about last week. A student stranded abroad is back home. There are still Americans stranded on foreign soil during this global pandemic but at least one Frackville woman has made her way home.

“Things are shut down. Get our people home,” Curt Stoyer, Madison Stoyer’s father, said.

That was the plea of a concerned family as Eyewitness News reported when the Stoyers were separated by a continent during the COVID-19 crisis. Madison Stoyer, once trapped behind closed Peruvian borders, is back. It all started with an email from the U.S. Embassy just before midnight Tuesday.

“It said reply with the credentials that you had replied with before to confirm and then it said get to the airport by 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. That was it,” Madison Stoyer said.

She took a specialized charter plane from Cuzco to Lima and a plane from there to Miami. Not the most ideal circumstances, but she’s back on American soil.

“We even had it that we were going to drive down to get her. If worst came to worst, we were coming to get her no matter what,” Denise Stoyer, Madison’s mother said.

Back in the states, Madison was shocked at the seeming lack of concern at the airport.

“When we first got into the U.S. there was no screenings. They didn’t take our temperature or anything. When we went through the Peruvian airport, they took our temperature before we could even get in,” Madison said.

She adds that minimal to no personal protective gear was present when they were greeted in Florida. Once back in the U.S., the challenge continues for many. Those newly returned to the states had to book their own travel the rest of the way.

Madison’s family, among others, are now on the hook for an IOU with a price range of $800-$2,000 to get them out. But the Stoyers say the reunion is worth every penny.

“We’re waiting, waiting, and waiting at the airport and finally she started walking up through the gate and we just said ‘there she is,'” Curt said.

The Stoyers are overwhelmed with joy and thankful for the support. But they know they are among the fortunate.

“The U.S. needs to get everybody home because it’s not over until every American citizen is home,” Madison said.

Now there are some logistical and financial questions from the Stoyer family but at least Madison is here on American soil.

Madison says she continues to get emails through an international smart traveler program even though she’s stateside. Those updates say the U.S. Government is continuing those efforts to extract stranded citizens in South America.

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