Orphaned SoCal siblings support younger brother who lost leg to alleged DUI driver

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Friday, June 9, 2023
Orphaned SoCal siblings support brother who lost leg when hit by car
Orphaned siblings from Guatemala are supporting their younger brother who lost his leg when struck by an alleged DUI driver in Santa Monica.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Gelvy Velazquez Ortiz and his siblings have stood together through the many hardships and tragedies life has dealt them.

The 18-year-old is relying on their tight bond to get him through his toughest battle.

"I was waiting for the bus and the car hit me. I lost my left leg," said Velazquez Ortiz from his hospital bed.

Last Friday, the high school sophomore lost his leg after a driver allegedly under the influence plowed into him while he waited at a Santa Monica bus stop to go home.

Gelvy Velazquez Ortiz, 18, lost his left leg when he was struck by a car in Santa Monica.

It's a home he shares with his three older brothers and sister.

"I came here four years ago; I came first then I brought my siblings over because we are orphans. We lost my mother to cancer, and we were living with my 80-year-old grandmother," said David Velazquez Ortiz, the oldest of the siblings.

The 23-year-old David says he came to the United States from Guatemala with a dream of a better life for his family. He works two jobs to help support his siblings - two of them still in high school.

Their family is now planning for their brother's recovery when he comes home.

"We'll need to rent a bottom floor apartment. Our apartment is on the top floor. He won't be able to get up the stairs," said David.

The driver who hit Glevy was arrested for DUI, but he has since been released after posting bail.

For now, the siblings are turning their full attention to their brother, praying that doctors will be able to save his remaining leg and planning for the help he'll need after.

"I'm asking God to give me the strength to get through this situation," said Gelvy.

A family friend has set up a GoFundMe page to help the siblings continue to care for their brother who will need them more than ever to stand by his side.