Tennessee family in Middle East desperately trying to get back home


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An East Tennessee family currently overseas is desperately trying to come back home to the United States amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Dominic Wright plays professional basketball in the Middle East. Wright, his wife Angela, and their two young children call Clinton home.

Early Tuesday morning, the Wrights prepared to fly home from Abu Dhabi, but their plan did not work out like they had hoped.

“I think the most frustrating thing was it was a mistake on their end, in their system. We had all of our correct paperwork, there was just something that someone hadn’t entered properly. It took probably five or six hours to be resolved, and by that time, all the flights to the U.S. were already gone,” Angela said.

The family said all the airports in the country are now shut down, so they’re unable to get out.

As a pro basketball player in Abu Dhabi, Dominic and his family needed the all clear before leaving. His season was officially canceled on March 23rd over coronavirus concerns.

“There’s a few reasons that we’re desperate to get home. Number one, we’re not under contract with his team anymore. We have no income coming in from the team, we’re not covered under any medical insurance. Obviously, those are big concerns having two children. And then the other thing is that, when something like this is going on, you want to be in your home country,” Angela said.

Dominic and Angela say they have already contacted the U.S. Embassy. They’re encouraged by the people who are trying to help them reach their ultimate goal of getting home.

“We’re safe, we’re healthy, we’re together as a family. But the most important thing to us is to get back home to our country, to our family,” Dominic said.

The family is now leaning on their faith and hoping their voices are heard.

They say they have made contact with Senator Lamar Alexander and Randy McNally’s camps, but they’re hopeful their message can reach Governor Bill Lee.

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