NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion S Palm Beach CountyDelray Beach


From Cuba to Delray Medical Center: Father and daughter share workplace and unbreakable bond

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 06:05:43-04

This Sunday, a Delray Beach man said he has several reasons to celebrate Father’s Day.

Jose Rios’s office is just down the hallway from his daughter Yami Cleter’s.

“We love it,” said Cleter.

The father and daughter spend five days a week working at Delray Medical Center and they can’t imagine being apart; especially after they were nearly forced apart.

“The most important thing for me is family,” said Rios.

He used to be a neurosurgeon in Cuba. After a trip to the United States, he realized his daughters would have a better opportunity in the US, even if it meant he and his wife would have to change careers. Rios is now a phlebotomist.

He brought his family to Mexico first, and then they illegally crossed the Rio Grande into Texas. There border control stopped Rios and his wife, but not their daughters. Eventually letting them all go.

“This was really a life or death situation, you have to stick together,” Cleter said.

Since that one sleepless night apart, Cleter and her father have worked side by side at Delray Medical Center for the past 18 years.

“I am happy because my daughter is everyday growing in the field,” Rios said.

He lives with his other daughter who became a doctor, but works at a different hospital.

This Father’s Day, there’s no place either Rios or Cleter would rather be than next to one another.

“You know what your parents have done for you and why keeping your family together is ultimately what got us here,” Cleter said.

Sunday, Rios will watch one of his grandchildren’s sporting events and looks forward to spending the afternoon with the entire family together.