Franklin Medical Student Held Against Will in Kenya - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Franklin Medical Student Held Against Will in Kenya

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by Emily Luxen

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - A Franklin medical student studying abroad in Africa was forced to make a daring escape from a hotel after being held against her will.

The aspiring doctor from East Tennessee State University has returned home, and shared her story in an effort to prevent other students from facing the same dangers.

"I am glad to be back," said Logan Key. "It's kind of surreal, and I can't really believe what I went through."

Key went to Kenya to take part in the Medics to Africa program along with seven other students from across the country. During the four week program, she volunteered in a hospital, worked with surgeons, and delivered babies. 

As the trip was wrapping up, she found out the man running the program owed the hotel, where she and other students were staying, thousands of dollars.

"The manager of the hotel said until the debt was cleared it was going to be difficult for us to leave."

Key watched as the gates outside the hotel closed, and armed guards moved in. For two days, she was held captive.  

After countless calls to the U.S. Embassy, she eventually got clearance to leave, and took matters into her own hands.

She, along with three other American students created a scene, by sitting on suitcases behind armed gates. Their actions attracted a crowd, and proved to be the distraction they needed.

"I just had this moment where I thought it was our chance," said Key."There was a TV crew filming by the gate, and I took a chance the guard wasn't going to shoot me on camera, so I climbed over the fence."

After arriving safely back in her Franklin home, she is coming to terms with the scary ordeal and the program director who put her in danger.

"There are bad people everywhere, and we fell into a situation with a bad guy," said Key.

Key said she researched the Medics to Africa group online before signing up for the program.  The group appeared to be reputable. She wants others who study abroad to do their homework.

"You need to be thorough," said Key. "You have to be cautious."

Key also praised a group of pastors from Kenya who helped the students escape. Those pastors are now facing charges in Kenya.

"I really want to get the real story out," said Key. "The Kenya media is reporting false information. They came and helped us and I want the true story out there so these men don't face charges for something they didn't do."

The director of Medics to Africa could not be reached for a comment. However, on the group's website it states, "Kenya is one of the safest countries in Africa. We ensure you are placed in safe environment and you will be very well looked after while volunteering in Kenya. The Kenyan people are very warm and friendly towards foreigners."


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