EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Pasoan Ana Laura Cardenas spent her Saturday packing boxes in her apartment, which still has a lingering foul smell.
This is the same apartment where last Saturday she woke up to blood dripping from her ceiling. That blood came from a decomposing body in the apartment above hers that had been there for days.
Cardenas’ bed, walls and many personal belongings got blood on them. She started a GoFundMe to replace her items as she did not have renters insurance. However, she never imagined that so many people would donate.
“Wow, wow, I thank all the people for all the support,” Cardenas said in Spanish, shaking her head in disbelief after seeing that more than $11,500 has been donated to her.
“Right now I just need a mattress because I don’t have one and I don’t have confidence in that one,” said Cardenas. “Some of my personal items that were ruined and for medical.”
Cardenas went to get bloodwork done and is also going to a psychologist following the incident. She said she is staying with a family member, but is searching for a new apartment. The money from donations will make that possible for her.
“It will help me because I’m packing everything. I want to move, I don’t want to stay and this will help me to move to a different apartment. Thank you to everyone,” she said.
The donations are coming from El Pasoans who saw Cardenas’ story, but also from people across the country.
Erica Tjelta is from South Carolina, but was one of the first people to make a donation.
“The story was terrible so that was pretty motivational right there to imagine what if you were in that situation,” said Tjelta.
Tjelta spoke with KTSM 9 News on Saturday but hadn’t checked the GoFundMe for Cardenas since she donated.
“Oh my gosh, no, when I was on there, I think it was like $900,” Tjelta said, shocked when told the GoFundMe amount on Saturday.
“It didn’t look like there were a lot of people who had seen the story or responded yet when I was first reading it. And I was just hoping that by me putting a comment and putting it on my Facebook page, more people would read it and would be likewise appalled, and would pitch in to help her out and get out of that situation,” said Tjelta.
KTSM 9 News reached out to Cielo Vista Apartments where Cardenas lives and has yet to get a response.
Cardenas said the apartment management told her she could move to another apartment in the complex but she said she doesn’t want to live there at all anymore and is moving out.