USF student who survived car crash in Cuba, set to graduate

Barbara Jimenez is set to graduate from USF.

SEMINOLE, Fla (WFLA) — Barbara Jimenez traveled to Cuba last year to visit family and on day one, she got into a major car accident.

Jimenez was in a coma for days. What’s worse, her health insurance lapsed and she didn’t have money to get back home, until a company, Jet ICU, stepped in to help.

Now she’s laughing and loving life and is on the verge of a major change. She is graduating from the University of South Florida.

“So, yeah, I’m doing the walk everything you know. Homecoming queen wave,” Jimenez joked.

Despite what she’s been through, she is graduating only one semester later than originally planned.

“The fact that my doctors were telling me, ‘take more time, take more time off… I’m like, ‘No’,  I have three classes. I’m not going to wait another year of doing nothing to graduate with my bachelors.”

U.S. Representative David Jolly was instrumental in helping connect Jimenez’s family with Jet ICU.

“A lot of people in the Tampa Bay area wanted to help. Barbara’s story is a testament to the good will of the people of the Bay area to come together and say, ‘How do we work through the diplomatic challenges? How we work through the medical transport challenges? What receiving hospital might be able to take her when she returns?” said Rep. David Jolly.

And now that Jimenez is home, healing and happy, she’s ready for the next chapter in her life as she graduates Saturday from USF.

“This next year I will be working and teaching,” she said. “And I do plant to go to law school in Fall of 2017.”

Get our hottest stories
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for News Channel 8’s Noon Newsletter to get
updates on the day’s top stories provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s