ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A former Florida governor is stepping up to help a man who is apparently stranded in Peru.
8 On Your Side was the first to tell you about Antonio Cuevas earlier this week. Family members who live in St. Petersburg say the father of two mysteriously fell into a coma while in Peru, and they cannot afford to get him home.
Our story on Cuevas has now made its way to former Florida governor and current U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist’s office. Our Congressman is now pledging to help the family.
“It sounds like a tragic situation,” said Crist.
Cuevas’ aunt, Clarissa Wood, spoke to 8 On Your Side Wednesday. She said her nephew is from New Jersey but was visiting Peru for the second time on 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.
Congressman Crist spoke to Wood by phone on Thursday evening.
“I talked to his aunt last night. They were hopeful to be able to relocate him to Lima today and they were pretty optimistic about that, so that is good news. So we want to do everything we can to make sure Antonio gets back to the United States for proper care,” said Crist.
The U.S. Representative from Florida’s 13th Congressional District says although getting Antonio home is a priority, he is unsure as to how long that process will take.
“We have contacted the State Department and the U.S. Embassy. Also, the Congressional Research Service. There is an expense involved with trying to get him back,” Crist said. “So, we are trying to find if there are resources available to help out with that aspect of it.”
In the meantime, Cuevas’ family has already set up a GoFundMe page to help alleviate some of the financial burdens they face.
“It’s important to help our fellow citizens and constituents and that’s what we are trying to do in my office. We are doing everything to try and help,” said Crist.