A heartbreaking story out of Cuba has driven over 21,000 people to sign an online petition to help save a Canadian mom. Justine Davis has been through an absolute nightmare, since losing her 3-year-old son Cameron on vacation in Cuba. Just two days before Christmas, while riding on a rented scooter together, the 29-year-old single mom swerved to avoid a pothole on a dirt road and crashed into a truck. Both she and Cameron were thrown from the scooter and the little boy's helmet flew off. After being air-lifted to Havana to be treated for multiple injuries, Davis learned that her son had died at the scene. So horrible.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, three days later, Cuban police prevented Davis from leaving the country, despite the fact that she has not been charged with any crime. So for six weeks now, she has been trapped in the hospital in Cuba. Thankfully, news broke today that Davis will be allowed to return to Canada for her son's funeral this Saturday.
Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular Services), announced this morning that Justine Davis is free to leave Cuba. While that is amazing news, and Amber Hussey, Davis' best friend, tells CTV News, "We’re so grateful to everyone who reached out and gave us support,” it's still highly disconcerting that it too SO long and was such a hardship for the family to get Justine home.
The family's online petition that it took them "weeks just to get Cameron's body back to Canada and that cost $9500.00." They also noted that they "received little information or assistance from the Canadian Embassy in Cuba."
In a case like this, I can understand how they could be red tape galore. Especially when you're dealing with a horrible traffic accident, a child's death, and international laws. But still. This case seems to boil down to a mother losing her son in an unfathomably tragic way and then being trapped in a country alone in despair, not even fully able to mourn. It's harrowing, to say the least. We can only take heart in the fact that the social media battle waged on her behalf succeeded. And as Hussey told CTV, "Justine knows she has a long road ahead of her, as well, but it’s the first step.”
Are you left unnerved by what happened to this mother?
Image via Change.org