Astrid Reyes undertook a traumatic trip to the United States with her family in search of well-being without imagining that she would find death here
Miami Florida – Suny galindo wait to send to Honduras the ashes of his 6 year old daughter Astrid reyes, considered by the authorities the youngest victim of COVID-19 in Florida, who longed to return to his country to be with his grandparents and cousins.
Galindo tells Efe that, even after her death, she wants to fulfill “the desire to return” of the minor, her only daughter and companion of a “horrible trip” of a month that they undertook in 2019 from Juticalpa (Honduras) to Tampa (Florida) so that “his life would be better.”
They were unable to celebrate together the first year of arriving in the United States, on August 24, because Astrid died after four days of agony after waking up crying and screaming with a headache.
Now Galindo says that the date he remembers the most is August 19, when he was “disconnected” in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, St. Petersburg, after suffering “a stroke.”
“Nobody imagines that for their children,” says Galindo, who was going to buy him the tablet he wanted for what would be his seventh birthday last Monday.
Galindo says that she was not asked for permission to disconnect her, but that she did not object because she saw that the minor was getting worse, “her eyes were inflaming, deteriorating.”
“We were inseparable, nobody will fill that void,” laments this immigrant, asylum seeker.
He remembers that Astrid, a well-behaved girl who wanted to be a policeman even though she had “panicked” the patrols since the trip, woke up one day complaining, convulsed and since then she no longer reacted.
He did not call an ambulance to avoid being asked “a thousand questions” and took her to a nearby hospital, from which she was transferred by helicopter to St. Petersburg.
For Galindo, the death of his daughter is “rare” because she was always a “healthy” girl who only had a “little breath since she was born” with which she could survive.
The Honduran woman is upset when she is told that Astrid died of COVID-19, because she says that everyone in the family and the parishioners of the church they attend is fine and that the hospital never recommended she or her husband to have it test or quarantine.
She explains that her husband gave the girl mouth-to-mouth resuscitation during the emergency and that he is in good health and that “so many” people cannot be asymptomatic.
However, the Pinellas County coroner report recorded that the girl tested positive for COVID-19 and suffered pulmonary edema and two internal bleeding, according to the Tampa Bay Times newspaper, which had access to the document.
THE TRAUMATIC JOURNEY TO USA
Without wanting to detail or remember much, Galindo describes his arrival in the US as “the most horrible trip of our lives.”
They traveled by car, bus, containers of a truck and a raft, in which it almost sank with dozens of other immigrants as they crossed the Rio Grande, between Mexico and the United States.
He says it is “a trauma that is never forgotten”, that they endured hunger, cold and mistreatment and that he was on the verge of requesting deportation when Astrid was dehydrated and hungry.
He recalls that in a detention center in Texas, of which he only knows that they called him “La Perrera”, Astrid asked a guard for a quilt because he was cold and he told him to leave, that he was cold too.
“She came crying and I started crying too,” he explains.
She says that since her arrival in the United States, the girl “always” wanted to return to Honduras because she missed her grandparents and cousins and to live with more people.
He points out that in the US, they live “locked up” and stay home from work.
The Honduran woman traveled to Miami on Friday to arrange for the repatriation of her daughter’s ashes with the Honduran consular authorities.
Galindo explains that at the request of his daughter he stopped following the asylum procedures because she wanted to return to Honduras soon and had planned to be only two years to save and return.
He details that in one day he earns up to $ 120 dollars in construction, while in Honduras he earned $ 50,000 dollars a month.
THE REPATRIATION OF THE DEAD
Juan Flores, president of the 15 de Septiembre Foundation, who attended Galindo, pointed out that Honduran immigrants are unaware of two laws in their country that establish aid for families to send the remains of Hondurans who have died abroad.
One of them came into force last May for those who die from COVID-19, who must be cremated, while the other law helps families of those who died from other causes to send the body without the need for cremation.
Flores urged the Government of his country to educate more about these laws to avoid “the prolonged suffering of these families who lack resources.”
He added that it is a humanitarian issue because many Hondurans who “cannot rest in peace” without knowing what to do with the ashes or, in some cases, keeping the bodies in funeral homes for up to two months.