BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - As Hurricane Maria roared through Dominca Sunday night, Wellington couple Mike and Candace Woods, had to make a run for from their 5th floor room, to a cinder block tower at the Ft. Young Hotel.
“A gust of wind, almost like a tornado type of wind picked my husband up, carrying two fifty pound suitcases, and he’s about 200 pounds himself and about 6’3” and slammed him straight into railing. His foot got caught underneath the railing,” Candace told me in an exclusive interview over the phone from an airport tarmac in Guadalupe.
Mike’s leg bruised and believed to be broken after the ordeal.
“I was pinned against the wall and even with his broken leg, he came back and brought me down the stairs,” Candace said.
For four and a half days, with a painkiller every 12 hours, ice, and more than 30 of his diving friends(they were on a dive trip led by the Riviera Beach based company Ocean Quest Scuba Charters)around for company, Mike waited for relief.
“His pain the first day was probably an eight to nine out of ten and now it’s a seven to eight out of ten,” Candace said.
A luggage cart was his wheelchair on the way to the airport Friday. They had a flight to Guadalupe in a prop plane.
Shortly after we got off they phone, they flew to Ft Lauderdale.
An ambulance brought the Wellington man to the Broward Health Medical Center. Our camera the one there to document Mike’s arrival.
We later caught up with his Candace in person about the state of Dominica.
“They’re devastated like I said. I know a lot of people reached out to me, reporters to talk to me during the storm to do interviews and then afterwards you guys were the only ones that actually wanted to talk to me anymore. They said that they already moved on.
They said that Dominica wasn’t a story anymore which is really sad what’s going on over there,” she said in an exclusive interview outside the hospital. Candace said earlier that people were drinking water from rivers with straws since the supply there is so low.
At last check, Mike was getting an x-ray on his leg to see the extent of the damage. There was no timetable for a possible release from the hospital.
Candace said the rest of their friends on the trip should be back Saturday sometime. Some took a Coast Guard ship to Barbados. Others ferried to St. Lucia Friday.