Casa Bonita

November 21, 2010 by staff 

Casa Bonita, Francisca Santos knows that thousands of homes and businesses were affected in a gas line exploded in Fort over a week ago Myers, and millions of dollars were lost.

But for the Bonita Springs resident and his brothers, the cost of Thursday’s accident can not be counted in dollars and cents.

As of Friday evening, the brother of 26 years, Santos Mario remained in critical condition Tampa General Hospital Regional Burn Center.

Santos, an employee of Posen Construction, was operating a bulldozer when he hit a gas line owned 8-inch natural gas TECO Peoples. The explosion that followed caused a major disruption in the system of southwest Florida and caused the loss of natural gas service to approximately 6,000 residential and 1,200 commercial customers in Lee and Collier counties.

The news coverage that followed, she said, the fact that buried his brother was fighting for his life.

“Everyone asked,” How is Mario? “And then when the news would come it would be on how the gas companies concerned and for only a short time on Mario,” said Francisca, 30. “It what hurt me most? I wondered: “How could this be?” My brother is the man. The failure of gas has been repaired, but my brother is in critical condition. ”

Santos suffered burns to half his body after the accident.

A native of Guatemala, Mario Santos is the third oldest of six children and called Bonita Springs home for over 8 years.

But unlike many fraternal relations, where everyone is in the other cases, with some, feeling older sister said Francisca Santos siblings remain close, but give each other space have their own lives.

“For me it was wonderful for us all to be here together,” said Francisca Thursday afternoon at his home in Bonita Springs.

Soccer, the family said, is the passion of Mario.

And when it comes to the involvement of brothers in the soccer league Casa Mexico in Bonita Springs, Francisca and her brother Pedro Santos said that was totally a family affair, even when they finally face-off on teams adverse.

“In the last two weeks, Mario was one team, while I and another of our brothers have been on the other,” Pedro said with a sad smile, adding that his brother had been preparing for a tournament Orlando before the accident. “They beat us. But it was fine. ”

Francisca said she did not know who to cheer, but she figured no matter who won the whole family to celebrate.

“Every weekend we gather to dine here,” she said, adding that even his brothers who live in West Palm Beach to make the weekly trip to the Lee family reunion. “I saw so many families living in out because they do not agree. We all love each other and are supportive of each other. ”

And when it comes to her brother Mario, Francisca says he is responsible, hard working and very family oriented.

Once the family got word of what happened Nov. 11, everyone gathered at Tampa General. The tightly knit group is trying to stay positive for their brother.

“The first days are the hardest,” said Pedro Santos, 28. “After Friday was the hardest for me.”

That day, brothers and sisters learned that doctors do not expect Mario to do.

“When he (Pedro) called and said that, I said ‘Do not say that.” I know the doctors said, but God will not abandon us, “said Francisca recalling the conversation.

Since then, Mario Santos started making a very slow recovery; the family was divided visiting functions more can go to their work.

It hurts to see her little brother in the state where he is, “said Francisca.

“I moved. I do not cry and let him out,” she said.

Initially it was difficult for her to hear her supporters say, ‘It will be okay. ”

“They have not seen. They do not know the actual state it is in. He is in critical condition, “she said.”I know he’ll get by, but there is no better. It may be improving, but it is still not good.”

It is the faith of the family who helped to cope with a situation that none of them did not expect to be treated.

“We prayed. I put it in God’s hands, “said Francisca adding that she found comfort and peace through his faith.” I spoke with our pastor and he is also praying for Mario. ”

Yet the family is under no illusions that Mario will immediately recover from the incident.

He still has much to do undergo multiple surgeries for skin grafts and months if not years of rehabilitation.

“It (his recovery) will be very long and hard,” said Pedro.

Bonita Springs community was in shock after learning of the accident Santos said Juan Romero, president of Casa Mexico, an adult soccer league Bonita Springs.

In these times of need, he said that they were together for one of them.

Romero said Captains met Saturday to understand what the group could do to help Santos and decided to open an account with Bank of America to help defray the costs of family medicine.

Donations can be made to account [# 229032800949] the ‘Casa Mexico Mario Santos funds from the Bank of America, said Romero.

In addition, the league will host a soccer tournament Thanksgiving Day 8:00 to 4:00 p.m. Thursday at Marni Fields located on Southern Pines Drive just off East Terry Street in Bonita Springs.

The cost for teams that want to participate and 95 is, “said Romero. All funds raised will fund medical Santos.

“Right now we have six teams registered and we hope that more will be found,” he said.

New tournament for Mario and the show outpouring of support from the community are overwhelming, but welcome, “said Pedro Santos.

“From the bottom of my heart all brothers and sisters, we are grateful for all put all this together,” he said.

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