AFS Booted Student With Brain Injury, Says Teen

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – AFS Intercultural, the world’s largest international student exchange, kicked an Indian student out of the program after he suffered a traumatic brain injury, causing him to lose his visa despite his doctors’ recommendation that he remain in the U.S. for treatment, the student says.

     Last winter, 16-year-old Happy Bhatt saw snow for the first time when he went snowboarding at Mount Hood Ski Bowl with his host family.
     After a few trips down the bunny hill, Bhatt lost control and slammed into a tree. He suffered a brain injury that required a LifeFlight trip to Oregon Health Sciences University and 10 weeks of recovery at OHSU and Emanuel Hospital.
     When Bhatt was finally released from the hospital, his doctors said that staying in the United States would give him “the best chance to recover – to the extent possible,” according to the complaint in Multnomah County Court.
     But that very day, AFS kicked Bhatt out of its program, which invalidated his visa and forced him to return to India, he says. Doctors in India also said Bhatt should have remained in the United States, according to the complaint.
     Bhatt wants $23.35 million, alleging breach of faith and negligence. He is represented by John Devlin with Rosenthal & Greene.

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