St. Pete woman working to bring home nephew who fell into coma in Peru

8 On Your Side

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A St. Petersburg woman is desperately asking for help so that she can bring her sick nephew back to the United States from Cusco, Peru.

​Her nephew, Antonio Cuevas, became ill and fell into a coma while on his trip. 

Clarissa Wood tells 8 On Your Side her nephew is from New Jersey but was visiting Peru for the second time on a what she referred to as a spiritual mission.

“He got sick in the hotel and throwing up and getting dizzy and they thought it was the altitude, so they took him to the hospital,” said Wood.

According to Wood, Cuevas initially started vomiting and having seizures. She further stated that he went into respiratory failure and was taken to the hospital. He is currently in a coma and listed as being in critical condition.   

“​​​​​​It’s very scary, it’s something you see in the news and hear in the papers and you never think it’s going to happen to your family. Unfortunately, you go out of the country, this happens all the time,” said Wood.

Wood refers to her nephew’s illness as a mystery and says the family is also unsure of when the father of two will be able to leave the hospital and return home.   

Wood says she feels hopeless after making several efforts to plead her case to the U.S. Embassy and the Peruvian government to no avail.    

“We have had no response and the U.S. embassy telling us they can’t help us,” said Wood.

At last count, Wood estimates Cuevas’ medical expenses total over $20,000. His family has set up a GoFundMe page in order to get him home and alleviate some of the financial burdens they face.

“We have a goal of at least $100,000 and we need help. We need help to get this kid home,” Wood told 8 On Your Side. 

If you would like to help bring Antonio Cuevas back to the United States, you can find the family’s GoFundMe page here.

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