8 On Your Side replaces generator lost on flight for family in Puerto Rico

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – 8 On Your Side helped a Pinellas County family after the generator they sent to family in Puerto Rico got lost.

Jose and Estrella Rodriguez had been stressed after their generator, that cost $1,000, never made it to the island on Spirit Airlines. 

On Monday, Estella Rodriguez thanked News Channel 8’s graphics designer Bab Saley, who gave his generator to the family to pay it forward.

“You are an angel. Oh my goodness. Thank you so much,” Estrella Rodriguez said as she picked up the generator from News Channel 8.

Jose Rodriguez was on the island when he contacted 8 On Your Side last week by telephone.

Jose Rodriguez flew out of Tampa International Airport on September 30. He then switched planes in Fort Lauderdale before landing in Puerto Rico.

He packed supplies and two generators, but one of the generators never made it.

“Maybe that generator has been left back in Ft. Lauderdale because the plane had a lot of Cargo,” he said.

The generator was supposed to power Rodriguez’s father’s breathing machine.

“He was in hospice before and he got better, but he uses oxygen,” Jose Rodriguez said.

The family was frustrated when they were told they had to file a claim and wait.

“In an emergency like this, I would much rather have the generator than the money, you know,” he said.

When 8 On Your Side contacted Spirit Airlines, they agreed to buy the family a new generator, credit plane tickets and fly Estrella over to the island to meet her husband.

In the meantime, Saley’s generator will be shipped out Tuesday and arrive in a few days.

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