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  1. #1
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    Default Grateful to be Living

    The thought of open heart surgery and a triple by-pass probably fills most of us with dread. Add to that the fact that you are too sick to travel to your country of origin, that you are not sure how much your insurance will cover (thank God you have insurance) and there isnít any blood in the blood bank, and it can get pretty scary. Some will remember responding to my plea for blood donors for Pauline Wren last year; thanks again to all those who offered to help. Pauline had her operation a year ago tomorrow and is doing really well.

    The treatment at Cedimat in Santo Domingo was second to none, despite the usual ďquestionsĒ when it came to the final invoice. Trying to see fair play when you are just out of intensive care, reacting unfavorably to the medication and struggling to move around without help isnít the easiest thing in the world. You have absolutely no idea of the long haul of recovery ahead of you.

    A year on, Pauline is putting all her energy into establishing Project Isobel, a centre for street children and abandoned and mistreated horses. (If you think this is a weird combination, read on). In her spare time, Pauline has started salsa dancing again and has been horse jumping for the first time in 10 years - encouragement indeed for anyone who is going through this process themselves. The depression and personality change which can accompany open heart surgery is normal but can often be underestimated. People think you should be glad to be alive, but itís a little more complicated than that. Working for this Project has been Paulineís driving force and motivation, despite the usual ups and downs of recovery.

    Pauline started to establish this Foundation before she became sick and has worked tirelessly to get it off the ground since she has been well enough to get out of bed! She may have bent your ear about it in La Roca or elsewhere! Sorry, but thatís how it is when you have a mission! Project Isobel is now recognized as a legal Foundation in this country: the need is certainly there and now we need help. Please see Project Isobel
    if you are curious about this strange combination or if you may be able to help with resources, land, your time or encouragement.

    Your offers of help and support a year ago were much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I have looked at your link Project Isobel but I am at a loss to see what you have so far..... can you please give some more detail Linda

  3. #3
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    Default Trying to Edit

    I was in the process of trying to edit my post to say that the website is still under construction when your reply appeared. Thanks for your interest. I will let Pauline pick it up from here, and hopefully she will answer you shortly.

  4. #4
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    Default A word of explanation

    Yes, I quite agree that the website doesn't show much at the moment. Linda was in the process of saying that it is in the process of being uploaded, so please check in now and again. The volunteer who is uploading it has just had promotion in the BBC, so the matter has been delayed. The website will include much more about our aims and the links between the children and animals. There will also be a Spanish version. Linda's reason for writing now, perhaps prematurely, is that she wanted to celebrate a year of achievement following such major surgery.

    We have indeed spent a lot of time with perhaps very little to show apparently, yet we have acquired official charitable status, an RNC [Registracion Nacional de Contribuyente required for a company 'sin fines de lucro'] and bank accounts. We have also been adopting animals and helping children as we go along.

    We have no official base yet, but we have land in mind when we can raise sufficient funds. Meanwhile, we have rescued a horse, two dogs and two cats. The most recent being a briard [French version of old English sheepdog] abandoned by Germans who returned home. She is delightful, but suffers from severe epilepsy, we have discovered. Just last night, she managed to survive 5 major seizures, a very distressing experience for all. I am now trying to find the most effective method of controlling it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabela View Post
    The most recent being a briard [French version of old English sheepdog] abandoned by Germans who returned home. She is delightful, but suffers from severe epilepsy, we have discovered. Just last night, she managed to survive 5 major seizures, a very distressing experience for all. I am now trying to find the most effective method of controlling it.
    I have a close friend in the UK who had an English Bull Terrier who used to have many seizures.... would you like me to ask what they did to aleviate them?

  6. #6
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    Thanks. That is kind. I've also had two dogs in the UK that have been epileptic, but Negrita has to be the most severe I've seen. She is on phenobarbitone, but I was advised to try weaning her of this, so I had introduced the homeopathic remedy cuprum. I have a friend in England who is a vet and also a homeopath and he suggested I try this. The vet here said we should get her stable again on phenobarbitone and then try to reintroduce the cuprum at the same time and then gradually wean her of the phenobarbitone. I'm told she is lucky to be alive after the severity of those fits the other night, so I'm reluctant to try weaning her of it at all, though the vet has promised that he will give me a dose of what he would inject + syringe, so that I can inject her immediately if she starts fitting again. Certainly, when she first started fitting a few days after I got her, it was in the middle of the night and I couldn't get hold of any vet, so an emergency injection at hand would have been more than welcome, but, of course, at that stage I had no idea of her problem anyway. Dr Bob recommended St John's Wort, so that might be something to consider, but it's much more expensive too.
    Negrita's seizures do seem to be linked to thunder storms, though she displays absolutely no fear of the storm. I'm told all the electrical activity in the air may set things off in her brain, so it's been suggested to put her in a wire cage or wrap a wet towel round her head when there are storms about to intercept the electrical charges. I'm willing to try anything within reason.

  7. #7
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    With regard to the street children, I am planning to give out some clothes that have been donated and that I have collected this Saturday morning in Sosua. I bought a barefoot child a pair of flip-flops this morning too. Until we can actually get a proper base, it is difficult to do more, because I believe they need the stability of something firmly established, not here today and gone tomorrow. We have several people ready to get more heavily involved once we can get that base within easy reach of Sosua and Cabarete. The aim is to give them at least one good meal a day and to teach them basic skills, how to grow vegetables and manage animals in a humane and productive way and so on, but we need that base for that....

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