Fundraising efforts to cover the medical costs of Julia Menjibar Guerrero (the Fruit Stand Lady) got underway last week in San Pedro with the help of several online good Samaritans and the Reef Radio. 57-year-old Julia suffered serious injuries when she got hit by a golf car while working at her fruit stand on Coconut Drive and had to be flown by helicopter to Belize City for emergency medical treatment.
Julia’s accident occurred on April 11 and since then, she has undergone 3 operations due to complications arising from the serious injuries obtained when the golf car ran over her body. During the course of medical treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (K.H.M.H.), Julia has lost one of her kidneys and part of her intestine. When our newspaper talked to her via phone this Tuesday, Julia told us from her hospital bed that she has been suffering from very high fevers and pain.
Last week, Steve DeMaio of Coconet Internet and Peter Lawrence, spearheaded a fundraising effort online through the Ambergris Caye message board, which netted over $2,000 towards assistance for Julia Guerrero. Online good Samaritans donated funds for Julia, some without even knowing the “fruit stand lady”, but giving with warm-hearted compassion. Eiden Salazar and David Marin from the Reef Radio were also asked by a friend of Julia’s to help with fundraising efforts to pay the medical bills, and both started organizing a drive to raise funds and alert the San Pedro community of the 57-year-old’s plight (it is to be noted that many in San Pedro believed rumors saying that Julia was dead).
“Thank you very much for your help,” Julia told Ambergris Today with a feeble voice in Spanish on the phone this Tuesday. “God bless you all.” Her husband, Arnulfo Escobar Regalado, was near her during this time and he explained to us via phone that she was very tired, but cheerful that people were helping her. “All you good people are giving my wife great hope for recuperating during these very difficult times,” said Arnulfo in Spanish. “I cannot get tired of saying, God bless you all and thanks very much.”
It has indeed been quite difficult for Julia, her family, and many other families in San Pedro as many tragedies have afflicted the town over the past few weeks. Medical costs in the country are very high, but good Samaritans from San Pedro and elsewhere in the world have poured out their hearts with support and money to help alleviate the suffering of the afflicted. We cannot emphasize enough how amazing the efforts have been through these very difficult times for the families of these unfortunate souls. Thank you.