14ymedio Faces of 2018: Mailen Diaz, Only Survivor of Cubana de Aviacion Crash

Mailén Díaz Almaguer, sole survivor of the Cubana de Aviación flight accident. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 28 December 2018 — On that tragic day of 18 May 2018, the life of Mailén Díaz Almaguer changed forever. Since that day, the only survivor of the Cubana de Aviación crash has had to wage an intense battle for her physical recovery. Only three passengers, all women, arrived at the hospital alive after the crash and two of them died in the following days.

Born in Holguín on December 23, 1998, Díaz was traveling on the plane that crashed with her husband, Jean Michel López Salinas (b. 1987), one of the fatal victims of the crash.

Three months after her admission, Dr. Esteban Reyes, of the Calixto García hospital, where Diaz received first aid, explained that she suffered “injuries at the level of the spine, cervical, thoracic, dorsal, extremities, tibia, fibula, pelvis, burns, and injuries at the gluteal level, which required frequent drainages.” The doctor said that the young woman, then 19 years old, was a paraplegic.

The most recent medical news appeared in the national media on October 20. In that article it was reported that Díaz continues “the process of recovery and stabilization of organ functions, oral nutrition and infection control” and that her emotional state and level of cooperation were “adequate.”

In mid-December Díaz sent her first message through her Facebook account in which she stated that every day was better and thanked “all the people who have been concerned, the doctors, nurses, those people who have contributed one way or another” to her recovery and have helped her “with her prayers and good thoughts,” and her family in particular.

During these months of slow recovery thousands of people have left messages of encouragement and best wishes for her recovery on her Facebook account, which have been answered on occasion by her sister. Diaz’s profile on the social network has no details of her professional life but the young woman often published selfies and photos with friends.

Days later, on her 20th birthday, the first pictures of the survivor were published on social networks, where she appears with several members of her family. “We love you my queen, continue as beautiful as you are and with that smile and joy that motivates you to continue every day moving forward,” said her sister.

See also: 14ymedio Faces of 2018


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