Many of you may have read the tragic news about the two Americans, Abby Lutz and John Heathco that lost their precious lives in a hotel room in Pescadero, BCS Mexico. What you may have not heard about are the two first responders that almost lost their lives as well, Fernando Valencia Sotelo and Grisel Valencia Sotelo. The brother and sister team were the attending to Abby and John when they quickly became overcome. They were able to exit the room just in time before Grisel collapsed to the ground. Fernando was able to get himself and Grisel back to their ambulance and administer oxygen to himself and to her. They were then rushed to the hospital by other team members. The hospital in La Paz did what they could but they do not have the proper treatment facilities. Today, since Grisel and Fernando were still feeling very ill and were very concerned about long-term effects, as a team we decided to take them to a private hospital in San Jose del Cabo. This is another and bigger out-of-pocket expense.
The Firefighters and Paramedics of Pescadero (Bomberos Voluntarios de Pescadero) is a nonprofit, volunteer operation that has been selflessly serving the Pescadero community since 2007. Our chief, Griselda Lorena Sotelo Amaya, is the first female fire chief of Mexico and the loving mother of Fernando and Grisel. As we grieve for the families of Abby and John, we are overcome with emotion that our chief almost lost two of her own children on this terrible night.
We have not received any compensation from any organization for their medical bills thus far. They were reluctant to go to the only hospital that has proper treatment facilities because of the cost so we are starting this go fund me to hopefully cover the cost of their treatment, any lost time off of work, and any ongoing medical care. Any extra money will go directly to the Bomberos Voluntarios de Pescadero to continue in their valiant efforts to try and keep this community safe. A tragedy like this must not be in vain. We have to all do better as a community to protect each other, local and foreigner alike.
We can only hope for peace and strength for the families of Abby and John. We wish we could have done more and every loss we attend to is a loss that is deeply felt.