Help family heal after tragic auto crash

Family is a very big word. It encompasses so much. Family cheers for you in the good times and supports you in the bad.

One area family is trying to recover from an incredible loss suffered on Labor Day, when they lost two family members and two others were hospitalized.

Alex Garcia and Jenny Garza, both 28, were happy with their two young children. They were living for each other, finding joy and building a good life.

Returning from a shopping trip at 8:33 p.m. September 7, that good life was ruptured when their car was struck by another vehicle on SR 82 east of CR 850. Alex and five-year-old Alexis died in that crash. Jenny and ten-year-old Jeremiah suffered critical injuries and were transported to intensive care units – Jenny to Lee Memorial Hospital and Jeremiah to Tampa General.

Jenny’s fractured ribs and broken arm are healing and she has been has been discharged and is now able to be with her son at Tampa General. Her cousin Lillie Rodriguez said she is “staying

This photo shows the family involved in a fatal Collier County crash. Left to right: Jeremiah Garcia, 10, Jenny Anzualda Garza, 28, Alexis Garcia, 5, and Alex Garcia 28. (Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Marie Photography)

This photo shows the family involved in a fatal Collier County crash. Left to right: Jeremiah Garcia, 10, Jenny Anzualda Garza, 28, Alexis Garcia, 5, and Alex Garcia 28. (Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Marie Photography)

strong.”

Doctors performed surgery to reduce pressure on Jeremiah’s brain. He responded well and then they removed a cast on his leg. As of Monday, Jeremiah is out of his coma and responding to doctor’s requests but not speaking or opening his eyes.

At this point, the family believes their loved ones’ bodies will heal. What comes after that will be the bigger concern.

From the moment they learned of the crash, family gathered to lift up Jenny and Jeremiah with love and prayers. This large close-knit family is rallying around its own, but is also amazed by the support offered by the community.

Jenny’s cousin Lillie works in LaBelle. She said her cousin is having a difficult time absorbing the tragedy, but is working to get strong again for her son. They will need each other much more than ever now.

With family and friends throughout the LaBelle-Immokalee area, “We’re overwhelmed by the support, love and prayers of the entire community,” Lillie said. Jenny has been employed at Florida Community Bank in Immokalee for eight years.

She explained that Jenny and Alex were sweethearts at Immokalee High School, where they graduated in 2005. She said that they were together for so long and were so attuned to each other, it will be very difficult for Jenny to pick up and go on.

Little Alexis was a kindergärtner at Eden Park Elementary School in Immokalee and brother Jeremiah is also a student there.

Alex and Jeremiah were huge football fans. In high school, Alex played for the Indians and he also coached Pop Warner for his son’s team.

Football season was a family affair with the Garza family.

The future is going to be a struggle for Jenny and Jeremiah in many ways, but community members from around the area are already pulling with them, donating to help them get through the hard times that are surely coming.

Anyone who would like to help them financially is invited to make a contribution to the Jenny Garza account at Florida Community Bank or go to GoFundMe at http://www.gofundme.com/qe3pwgzk

Speaking for the family, Lillie said, “We are so grateful and offer our deepest thanks.”

Patty Brant, Publisher of the Immokalee Bulletin can be reached at pbrant@newszap.com

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