MIDLAND, Texas — A Midland woman is looking for any kind of help. After going out of town, she says she came back and found not only damage done to her home, but people living inside.
The Midland woman, Martha Santilla says she was in Mexico for a month and a half before coming home to the worst.
“I was over there for a month and a half, and when I came back home, my house was burglarized and there was people living in my house,” says Santillan.
Last year, Santillan was hit by a drunk driver, forcing her to have surgery. When she went to medical professionals, they then diagnosed her cancer and a brain tumor.
“It was not only cancer that I was diagnosed with I was also diagnosed with a tumor,” mentions Santillan.
She was given the opportunity to go to a hospital in Monterrey, Mexico to have the surgery performed and receive treatment for her cancer, and of course, she took it.
When she returned home, she was horrified of what she found. People had vandalized her home, and had been living inside it, the entire time she was gone.
Santillan adds, “A friend of mine told me about a hospital in Monterrey, Mexico, and I was by myself, they gave me the news that I had the cancer, and it was advanced.”
When she returned home, she was in complete shock of the situation she had come to see.
“I just opened my door and lights are on, tv is on, my heart was beating a hundred miles an hour, where I was just terrified,” Santillan adds, horrified.
At this point, the squatters had apparently left the home, but now, Santillan was even more terrified, and doesn’t feel safe in her own home, with all the damage that had been left behind.
Santillan was alone on her trip to Mexico, and was scared of doing the treatment and procedure by herself, but not as scared as she is now, at a home that no longer feels safe.
“I was alone, and I didn’t have nobody to help me. But I’m still paranoid, I have broken windows, a broken door,” says Santillan.
Now, Santillan is completely on disability and cannot fix her home herself–or even afford the repairs needed.
She adds, “When I got home, my door jam and everything, my room where I also had it locked, everything was kicked in.”
Now, luckily people in the community are looking out for her and trying to find ways to help her out in any way possible, including Rachel Swanson, who’s trying to raise awareness through the next door app.
Swanson says, “This person needs to be heard, this person needs to be understood, they need to be supported, How can you hear a story like this and not try to even just help advocate?”
Santillan is hoping the repairs can be done soon and she can move on with her life, but also says the fear will stay with her forever. Now, she’s just trying to focus on beating the cancer.
“I’m just trying to survive and move forward and make sure and see if I can fight this cancer,” says Santillan
She is grateful for the community coming together, and people like Swanson, who are looking to help her and hopes that if you see something like this happening around you, that you speak up.