Angela Gonzalez and Devon were in their ninth-floor apartment in the Champlain Towers South when it partially collapsed and fell to the fifth floor.
The tragic Florida condo collapse has been devastating with more than 150 people missing and 11 people who have been confirmed dead so far. Among the various heartwrenching stories about the families that lived in the building, is one of strength and resolve displayed by a mother even in the face of the calamity.
Angela Gonzalez and her 16-year-old daughter, Devon, were in their ninth-floor apartment in the Champlain Towers South when it partially collapsed. Both of them fell down to the fifth floor. Gonzalez broke her pelvis from the fall. Despite that, she somehow managed to not only pull herself from the rubble but also found the strength to pull her daughter out as well, as reported by CBS Miami Local.
Surveillance video captures the collapse of a 13-story condo tower outside Miami last week, showing how the southern side of the structure crumbles. Watch our annotated video. https://t.co/HZNZz1XCem pic.twitter.com/7Fhh5DEEOB— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 28, 2021
The mother and daughter were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment. Gonzalez's husband, Edgar is one among the many who are unaccounted for. The couple also had another daughter, Taylor who was not in the building when it collapsed and a family dog, Daisy, who is also missing. "Wasn’t something that I thought I would come down to this, I guess," Lisa Melencial, a family friend said. "But pick up the pieces, trying to figure out how to make this work, how to make this better than what it is. Even though it’s a tragic scenario. I just want prayers and just the best for her and her family."
Condo Collapse: Despite Broken Pelvis After 4-Story Fall, Mom Pulls Daughter Out Of Rubble https://t.co/rQx6fRtiLo— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) June 25, 2021
Melencial added, “Hope for the best. Everybody just give prayers. Everybody else’s families or any colleagues or friends that were in the incidents, I wish you prayers, thoughts… And I hope everybody gets well.” Gonzalez is a mental healthcare provider working with underserved communities in Miami and surrounding areas. Devon is on the junior volleyball team and hopes to continue her career in volleyball at the collegiate and professional levels. Edgar is a legal professional in Miami-Dade. Taylor works in the hospitality industry.
A GoFundMe page was organized by the volleyball community and Devon's Coach, Ashley Woods. It rallied support for the Gonzalez family during their time of need by raising funds for them. "This family is very close-knit and the Champlain tragedy has been catastrophic for them and for so many others," the description on the page read. It continued, "They are the type of family to roll up their sleeves and do whatever is asked to help anyone in a time of need or crisis. We want to show them how much we care and love them back."
In the most recent update, Woods shared that Devon's surgery went well and that she was doing great. "She will have one more surgery next week to repair the leg and if all goes well should be walking (with a lot of assistance of course,)" the update read. "Angela is still intubated. They are letting her sleep so her body can concentrate on healing. She is responsive when asked questions so that is great news. She will have surgery on Monday to repair her pelvis." Taylor has taken on the role of caregiver for her mother and sister. There is still no news about Edgar.
#Update Family: Edgar Gonzalez is missing after Surfside condo collapse. His wife and daughter are in the hospital with serious injuries. They lived on the 9th floor, beachside @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/QftxQMrDpp— Julia Bagg (@JuliaNBC6) June 24, 2021
Firefighters have been working around the clock trying to find anyone who could be buried under the rubble and trying to listen for noises that could be coming from survivors. President Joe Biden has authorized FEMA to assist in the disaster response effort, reported The Independent. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency. “The TV doesn’t do it justice,” DeSantis said. “It is really, really traumatic to see the collapse of a massive structure like that.” The 12-story condo collapsed around 1:30 am on Thursday but the reason for the collapse is not yet known.