“Stranded” Linden family secures flight back home from Cuba

The Jacobis family of Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), secured flights back home to Guyana after being stranded in Cuba where they sought healthcare treatment for their two-year-old son who underwent heart surgery. The family was left stranded for weeks, after Caribbean Airlines temporarily suspended flights from the island due to COVID-19. The toddler’s father, Orville Jacobis, returned to Guyana on Wednesday, while his wife, her mother and son returned on Friday. They have since hailed the “excellent” healthcare the toddler received while in Cuba and expressed gratitude to all the persons who had assisted them throughout the journey. The child’s mother, Latoya Jacobis, related that with the help of a travel agent, they were able to book new tickets after learning that there were a few available seats on two different flights.

Orville Jacobis along with his wife Latoya Jacobis with their two-year-old son who underwent heart surgery

“It was really challenging but I’m so grateful that we’re home. It’s like 40 days that we spent in Cuba and we’re grateful for that. Thank God for the persons who were supportive. The Ambassador, he made contact with us while we were there also…he was really helpful…We met a Guyanese doctor over there. He was really helpful to us,” Jacobis related.
The family further noted that the healthcare professionals were very helpful, adding that the surgeon even stayed with their son in the critical hours following the surgery. Weeks post-op, Jacobis said she has already seen improvements in her son since the surgery.
“He’s doing excellent. He’s fighting to move around and things that he never used to do before. After the surgery, he got the full energy and doing everything now,” the mother said.
The family has since urged persons to make use of medical services offered by Cuba.
“The medical service is really good. Cuba has amazing medical service. If anyone needs advice, they are free to contact us. We can tell them how we go about accessing Government fund and other stuff,” Jacobis said.
The family also expressed gratitude to the Health Ministry and persons who made financial donations which assisted in offsetting expenses for the surgery. (G13)