MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota family is finally home from Costa Rica after a generous WCCO viewer saw their story and stepped into help.
The Lopez family was stranded in Central America after their 3-year-old son was injured and had a cast that prevented them from taking a commercial flight. A special air ambulance would have cost them $40,000.
WCCO’s Kate Raddatz shares how their story caught the attention of a Good Samaritan.
Axel Lopez can’t move a whole lot with his cast, but he’s just happy to be home.
“I love to travel. I’ve been to a lot of places in the world and I just took for granted how much we love home,” Emmee Lopez of Lake City said.
The Lopez family was stuck in Costa Rica because Axel was injured on their trip and couldn’t take a commercial flight. Medics told them it could be six to eight weeks.
“My husband and I have been through many different things but nothing this serious,” Emmee Lopez said.
Until a WCCO viewer saw their story on TV.
“I looked at my wife and said I think we can help this family,” Wes Converse, the president of Red Wing Aeroplane said.
The president of Red Wing Aeroplane had a plan.
“I just felt because it was someone right in our community, we had our resources to help them. It felt like the right thing to do,” Converse said.
A private plane was reconfigured to accommodate Axel’s needs. It was flown out to Costa Rica on Friday…. at no charge.
“When we both saw that plane we were both in tears, we were really excited,” Emmee Lopez said.
Six-and-a-half hours in the air later, the family landed in Bay City, welcomed by dozens of family and friends.
“We just felt so overwhelmed and so blessed to have everyone by our side,” Ceslo Lopez said.
Emmee and her husband Celso say they plan to get lunch with the man who brought them home. They want to use the money raised from their GoFundMe to pay it forward to someone else in need.
“It’s been really emotional for both of us and just to remember we’re really blessed back home,” Emmee Lopez said.