Smash victim thanks kind-hearted benefactors for help airlifting her to Colombia

Leidy Paola Galvis Salazar was flown out of Antigua last Thursday (Photo courtesy Calvin Ayre Foundation)
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After sustaining multiple fractures to her left leg and arm in a serious road accident, Leidy Paola Galvis Salazar is counting her lucky stars and thanking some benevolent people for supporting her family’s GoFundMe efforts to airlift her to Colombia for urgent medical attention.

One such organisation is the Calvin Ayre Foundation (CAF), which came on board to cover the outstanding expense of more than US$12,000 in order to meet the total US$23,000 cost which enabled Galvis to be airlifted last Thursday.

Ayre Group spokeswoman Jamilla Kirwan said when the Foundation learned of Salazar’s urgent need, the decision was quickly taken to assist the family who had already raised a little over US$10,000.

“There are so many causes that CAF wishes it could assist with,” Kirwan explained. “It is terribly difficult to make these kinds of decisions because we are not always able to help every cause. But whenever we are able to, we are happy to see the difference we are making in the lives that we touch.”

The 25 year-old Colombian, who has been living in Antigua for the last few years, was the victim of a horrific car crash on May 3, which saw her trapped in the vehicle until an emergency team was able to extricate her.

Galvis spent 11 days at Mount St John’s Medical Centre. Her mother Lucy Salazar, who lives in Columbia, posted an impassioned social media plea for assistance and started a GoFundMe page which raised more than US$10,000.

When Salazar was contacted by Kirwan with the news that the Foundation would cover the remainder, she broke down in tears and described the support as a “miracle”.

Speaking on behalf of Leidy’s family, Honorary Consul to Columbia, Maria Britto, who also served as translator between Kirwan and Salazar, said, “On behalf of the government of Colombia and the family of Leidy Galvis, we would like to recognise and be thankful for the help of the Calvin Ayre Foundation, as Leidy’s family did not have the resources to be flown out of the country.”

Leidy came to the island to work as a mixologist. Although she is currently unable to move her arms and legs, she holds on to hope that she will soon recover.

“I want to thank everyone who supported me,” Leidy said. “And especially the Calvin Ayre Foundation. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for giving me this chance to get my surgery so I can walk again.”

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