When IBEW 1245 member Gustavo “Goose” Lopez’s baby was born six weeks premature, weighing just three pounds, the doctors told Lopez and his family that the baby would need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Santa Barbara for at least two weeks.
“At first, we had no idea how we could afford to drive to Santa Barbara and see our son every day,” said Lopez, who works in the Street Division for the City of Lompoc. The drive from Lopez’s home to the hospital in Santa Barbara is about 100 miles round trip.
Lopez’ father decided to approach the union to see if they might be able to help. Without hesitation, the IBEW 1245 Lompoc Unit used money from the unit’s Community Fund to issue Lopez a $150 gas card, ensuring that the Lopez family would be able to make the drive to see their baby in the NICU.
“Receiving the gas card helped us immensely,” said Lopez. “We are extremely grateful and appreciative that the union was able to help us during one of our biggest times of need.”
The baby, Lorenzo Robert Lopez, was released from the hospital after two weeks. He is now a healthy eight-month-old with no developmental delays or issues.
Photos courtesy of Gustavo Lopez