Chilean FOF, Lilianett Ramirez, begged her husband to quit his job as a miner after he told her in July about his dangerous working conditions. He promised he’d quit before Christmas. If he had listened to her, he wouldn’t have spent the last 68 days trapped with 32 other miners when their “office” collapsed in Copiapo, Chile.
Husband Mario Gomez, 63, is the oldest man rescued from the San Jose mine. A miner since he was 12, he begged his bosses to fix the problems that made the mine unsafe. The managers ignored his pleas. They told the men that they could quit if they didn’t want to work in the mine, Lilianett recalled in an interview, while her husband was trapped almost a half mile underground. The managers said there were plenty of other men who would be happy to take their places.
Married for 30 years, Lilianett slept at the mine site every single night her husband was buried below. Mario was the first miner to send up a letter to his wife when he was underground. He told her he was confident all the men would survive. “I’m well, thank God. I hope to get out soon. Have patience and faith. I haven’t stopped thinking about all of you for a single moment,” he wrote.
“Can you imagine? After 30 years of marriage we will start sending each other love letters again,” she said during the ordeal. “I want to tell him that I love him so much. I want to tell him that things will be different, that we will have a new life. I will wait as long as I need to see my husband again.”