COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.-Family members and a Congressman are working to bring home a Florida woman injured in a car crash in Cuba. She could be back in Florida by week’s end thanks to help from the community.
John Fox and Barbara Jimenez, both in their early 20s, embarked on a journey to Cuba. The trip quickly turned into a nightmare when their taxi was hit by a truck. The impact killed the cab driver and sent both Fox and Jimenez to a Cuban hospital. Both had life threatening injuries.
Jim Fox’s son, John, mentioned he wanted to take a trip to Cuba but never specified a date. It wasn’t until Jim saw Barbara’s parents at his front door that he found out his son’s whereabouts and what happened. “It’s the most frightening thing a parent could ever experience,” says Jim Fox. “They didn’t know if he was going to make it.”
John’s insurance through his company Norththrop is what brought him home. “They said Mr. Fox, Northrop has a team and we are going to bring your son home. It felt great.”
John’s girlfriend, Barbara, was not so lucky. She is a graduate student at USF in Tampa and her family says Barbara’s health insurance had expired. Her family says they don’t have the money to bring her home. “I’m privileged to help pull it altogether on behalf of the people who want to do right by Barbara,” says Florida Congressman David Jolly of District 13. A private medical aircraft company contacted the Congressman and generously offered to fly Barbara to a hospital in America. “If it’s medically appropriate to transport her, I believe we will have her home this week,” says Congressman Jolly.
“Oh, I know she’s going to come home,” says Fox. “She is going be fine, it’s just going to take time.”
Family of John say both have extensive injuries. In John’s case, his dad says he will require up to 9 months of rehabilitation. He says the couple has not spoken due to the extent of their injuries and adds, his son doesn’t remember traveling to Cuba.
The American Embassy is involved and assisted in getting John home. Congressman Jolly believes there should not be any diplomatic trouble getting a medical aircraft from Cuba to the US.