The conversations of life

92-year-old aged care resident stranded by hurricane rescued – by an Uber

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Margarita Berga de Lema had been stuck on the fifth floor of an aged care home with no power on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico since it was devastated by Hurricane Maria a month before, relying on daily food deliveries from staff.

Her best friend, Chia Otero, 89, had finally managed to arrange a seat for her on a private jet to Miami – but it was leaving in 90 minutes.

So her daughter in the US, Natascha Otero-Santiago pulled out her phone and hailed an Uber.

“I was really surprised it was working,” she said. “I got a driver right away.”

Ms Berga de Lema walked down five flight of steps to meet her driver Moises.

“He told me, ‘Don’t worry, lady,’” Ms Berga de Lema said.

The mother-and-daughter tracked their journey on the popular ride-sharing app from America, even talking to the driver over the phone to ensure he made his way to the waiting plane at the airport terminal.

“Moises got five stars,” Ms Otero-Santiago said.

Not bad for a $40 trip.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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