“I am looking desperately for my happiness and I can’t find it.” said Iliana Monteagudo, one of the survivors from the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside of Miami, Florida. “My personality is missing. I don’t know how to get it back.” One year later Monteagudo experiences depression, anxiety and physical pain. She now takes several medications while seeing five different specialist doctors. Before the collapse she only took vitamins. Monteagudo says she was awakened by the spirit of La Virgen de Guadalupe and saw a crack in her living room wall, barely escaping within seven minutes of the building’s complete collapse. “Maybe God has a better plan for me down the road.” she said. “I never ask him ‘Why me?’ I try not to feel self-pity.”
Photos by Sydney Walsh for Miami Herald