PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — Guillermo Gama Jr. says when his son opens his eyes, for a fleeting moment, he can feel him connect.
“He’ll look at you real quick and you’ll feel that he sees you for that second,” he said.
His son and namesake, Guillermo Gama III, 23, also known as Gordo, is the sole survivor of a train crash that claimed the lives of six people, including Gordo’s girlfriend, Aniella Hernandez, 22.
It happened Sept. 23rd off US Highway 92 in Plant City. Gama has been hospitalized at Lakeland Regional Health ever since.
His father said he has moved both of his legs and his right arm and, sometimes, flashes a smile.
“I know he knows that we’re there. I know he feels us there. That’s one thing the doctor says, apart from the involuntary movement, whatever facial expression he does express it’s from him,” said Gama.
Gama said he is trying not to look at or think about the hospital bills that are surely racking up.
On Thursday, he took a picture of a #GordoStrong banner outside Pelican’s SnoBalls on Collins Street in Plant City. He wanted to be able to show his son how the community supported him.
“It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it,” he said. “Just knowing how much the community cares. People that we don’t know…from people we don’t know to friends and family,” he said.
20% of Thursday’s sales at Pelican’s SnoBalls is being donated to Gama’s family.
“Anytime there’s something in our community like this, we want to be there to help,” said Greg Davis, franchise owner of the Collins Street Pelican’s SnoBalls.
Davis did not know any of the victims of the crash. But he did see the aftermath.
“We were coming home from Lakeland about 10 minutes after the accident. We really didn’t even know what happened but we just knew something bad had happened,” said Davis.
Davis said he was unable to participate in a previous fundraiser for Gama’s family so instead offered the one-day contribution.
“This is a time that we really need to go arm in arm and hand in hand to help this family because I can’t even comprehend what they’re going through,” said Davis.
Plant City’s Pelican’s SnoBalls is open until 8pm.
“Things like this, it just means a lot. It’s a lot,” said Gama.