Bahamian family in desperate need of help after arriving in South Florida

Springhill Suites Marriott maid helps pay for family's hotel stay

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – A Bahamian family needs all the help they can get after they were displaced from their home due to Hurricane Dorian. 

Janiva Cadet-Petitbose and Wesner Petitbose were forced to leave their home with their two small sons, ages 6 and 3 months old.

"It's not easy to start over, especially in a foreign place," Cadet-Petitbose said.  

Nine days ago, the family was huddled in their living room in Marsh Harbour praying while watching Hurricane Dorian wreak havoc around them.

"It's like you are sitting right next to an engine plane," Petitbose said. "The water started rising, and then we just keep praying."

Dorian left behind a trail of destruction and devastation. 

"Everything was flatten, gone. That's when I said, 'We have to give thanks,'" Petitbose said.  

The family gave thanks, but realized they had to leave as there was nothing left for them to stay for.

"There is nothing left. No schools, no hospitals, no grocery stores, no gas stations, nothing," Petitbose said.  

On Sunday, the family boarded a small plane bound for Fort Lauderdale.

They were informed they would get some assistance, but once they got to South Florida, they realized they were on their own. 

They were driven to the Springhill Suites Marriott in Dania Beach, only scheduled to stay for one night. 

A maid learned of their plight, and got some staff members to help out and pitch in money to pay for an extra night.

"She was the first person who started helping us," Cadet-Petitbose said.  

Now, the family needs all the assistance they can get as they are starting from scratch, taking it day by day and trying to figure out what to do next. Still, they are grateful to still have each other.

"As long as you have life, there's hope," Cadet-Petitbose said.  

There are so many stories similar to that of the Petitbose family of Bahamians who have lost everything to Dorian.

The hotel is allowing the family to stay for one more week free of charge. From there, the family is on their own.

Those who wish to help the Petitbose family may email Local 10 News at share@wplg.com or reporter Sanela Sabovic at ssabovic@wplg.com.

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