By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The events to raise funds for the injured boat captain, Romaldo “Romi” Badillo, 59, drew major public support on Saturday at the Hour Bar parking lot in Belize City.
Nydia Riverol, Badillo’s sister-in-law and one of the organizers of the event, says that through their supporters they managed to sell over 1,500 barbecue tickets. The family also held a telethon which was still ongoing at the time of Riverol’s interview.
“The public support has really been tremendous,” she explained. “We have had corporate sponsors, like Bowen and Bowen and BTL, but the best support came from his family and friends.”
She added that all the updates the family has received on Badillo’s condition have been positive, and that they remain hopeful that he will survive the ordeal.
Badillo was injured last week when his small skiff which was being launched from the “Hangar” area of Belize City suddenly burst into flames. Two of the passengers were flung from the vessel by the explosion of the engine while others had to jump from the boat to avoid injury.
Badillo was badly burned and inhaled a large amount of toxic fumes. The captain and passengers were rescued by a passing vessel and Badillo was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was later transported to Guatemala for skin surgery, having sustained second and third degree burns to 75 percent of his body.