Team Effort Helps Family Get 103-Year-Old Puerto Rican to Mainland - NBC Connecticut
Puerto Rico Recovers After Maria

Puerto Rico Recovers After Maria

Complete coverage of relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria

Team Effort Helps Family Get 103-Year-Old Puerto Rican to Mainland

Parrilla lives in Vieques and has been living without power or running water for weeks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    103-Year-Old Woman Escapes P.R. Disaster

    NBC 6 Reporter Laura Rodriguez is at Miami International Airport, where a 103-year-old woman arrived in Miami from Puerto Rico, escaping the disaster after Hurricane Maria.

    (Published Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017)

    With thousands still living in dangerous conditions in Puerto Rico, many have escaped the disaster, including a 103-year-old woman.

    Angela Parrilla arrived in Miami for the first time ever Sunday afternoon. Her grandniece tells NBC 6 she loves Puerto Rico and does not leave the island often.

    Relatives knew they had to get Parrilla and her special needs granddaughter out of Puerto Rico. Parrilla has a visual impairment, a blood disorder and a heart condition.

    Parrilla lives in Vieques and had been living without power or running water for weeks. It took a team effort to get her out of Puerto Rico, starting with a nurse on a humanitarian mission from Texas, who found out about the 103-year-old through a Facebook message.

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    Irene O'Shea became the oldest woman to skydive at 102 when the Australian grandmother took part in a jump for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of South Australia on Dec. 9. She broke her own 2017 record for the same category.

    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018)

    Parrilla’s grandniece said Sen. Marco Rubio’s office helped organize a helicopter ride from Vieques to San Juan, and then Parrilla made it to the mainland on a plane chartered by Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund.

    “How many 103-year-olds can be on an island? We found her and when I found her, I couldn’t believe it,” said Debora Ybarra, a nurse. “So the issue was, she looks quite good, but the issue was as the disaster continues and limited medications and there is a problem, she can’t pick up the phone and call 911.”

    “I needed to get them off the island. It was totally impossible to get a flight out. I called and pleaded,” said Zandra Velez, Parrilla’s grandniece.

    Angela’s trip didn’t end in Miami. Her family lives in Orlando, and will be spending time with them.

    Velez told NBC 6 she has two more elderly relatives in Puerto Rico and is concerned about them.