March 20, 1990.
“The press was reporting we had the world in our hands… and boom. In a split second, everything changed.”
Gloria Estefan will never forget almost being killed 30 years ago.
The Estefans, along with their then 9-year-old son Nayib were on their Miami Sound Machine tour bus to attend a party in New York and give a concert in Syracuse. Just outside Scranton, Pennsylvania, it was snowing. Their bus was idling in traffic when the accident happened.
Now 63, Estefan brought her daughter Emily and niece Lili together to talk about it on Facebook Watch’s “Red Table Talk” Wednesday.
When help arrived a nurse instructed Estefan not to move and even used her own legs to ensure Estefan would remain still.
Gloria had a broken vertebra. Her husband Emilio suffered bruises on his head and cuts to his hands. Gloria was flown to Manhattan’s Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopedic Institute. Two vertebrae were fused during a four hour operation. To this day she has two eight-inch steel rods in her spine.
Gloria thought having a baby was now impossible, but four years after the accident the Estefans gave birth to Emily.
“I remember thinking, ‘Maybe this is the reason that I’ve gone through this; maybe I can be an example to people of how to take control of our lives and get past hurdles.'”