The Cause – The Fight Against Cancer

Dare to survive

I believe that all of us simply take life for granted till something occurs to convey us up quick and make us take stock of what we’ve in life. For me, it all started with a hyena… But NO! Actually, it didn’t. It began before that.

Do you ever have instances whilst your own phrases come back to you? Each term, as the Head of a non-public, primary college in the farming city of Chipinge at the south-jap border of Zimbabwe I chose a key phrase and primarily based my assemblies round this word.


In the middle time period of 2003, I selected the phrase Challenges, and inside the third term – Attitude. The stories, homilies, quotations, etc that I spoke approximately to the youngsters surely set me up for my start to 2004.

My daughter, Jenna had phoned me.

“Mom, might you and Jim want to come on a fishing experience at the River for New Year?” The river changed into the Zambesi River on the border with Zimbabwe and Zambia. My husband, Jim, opted no longer to join the birthday party as he reckoned he had done sufficient tenting in his lifetime. I phoned to tell Jenna that I’d love to head however that Jim would not. She laughed and said that her Dad, my first husband, Geoff, turned into going to return however his spouse, Avril, wouldn’t, for precisely the same purpose as Jim, and requested if Jim might mind me going if Geoff became on his personal. Well, nobody minded, in order that turned into okay.

About fourteen of us met up in Harare at solar-up, loaded the automobiles with all our tenting equipment, fishing rods, beer and wine, meals and different necessities. In a wonderful, mild-hearted holiday spirit, we prepared out in convoy for Mongwe, thirty kilometers downstream from Chirundu, on the banks of the effective Zambezi River, which paperwork the boundary among Zimbabwe and Zambia, a really particular and special place of Zimbabwe – in truth, the entire of the Zambezi Valley is impressive. The first part of the adventure to Makuti took some hours on appropriate tar roads. We then wound our manner downwards into the Zambesi Valley, the tar turning into narrower, the warmth growing, till we became off the street and traveled down a vague, winding dust tune via the bush. As it turned into the rainy season, sometimes one of the cars could flounder within the dust, as we crossed rivers and elephant tracks, and it would be pulled out by means of one of the 4X4s.



The convoy ultimately arrived at our destination by way of mid-afternoon, a deserted fishing camp that was being resuscitated by using my son-in-regulation, Trevor, and some of his buddies, who had long gone into partnership in the assignment. There were pretty a few of these camps along the Zambezi that had previously been owned by white Zimbabweans. The proprietors have been chased away with the aid of ‘freedom warring parties’ and National Parks had taken over the camps world star fights. Now critically left out, National Parks have been inviting these identical white Zimbos returned to the camps to try to place them properly again and inspire tourism. They could see how lovely the tendencies at the Zambian facet of the river were and how famous they had been for vacations and fishing trips and how travelers have been pouring into the area across the river.

This precise camp becomes set right on the banks of the river on pretty a steep slope. A fairly fundamental ablution block changed into perched on the pinnacle with mind-blowing views of the river, which you can experience at the same time as taking a shower. Halfway down the slope were a dilapidated double tale stone and thatch constructing. Upstairs changed into a massive half of-walled snoozing location. Downstairs became a simple kitchen and sitting and eating area. This was in a truly terrible kingdom of restore and needed a good clean, so we all set about with brooms to make the location habitable. Jenna and Trevor had been to sleep there with their kids and the rest people set approximately erecting our tents at the river financial institution. By now, the beer and wine were flowing and humor becomes at an excessive.

We have been having an idyllic time, fishing, boating, eating, consuming, speak, and just taking part in the first rate ambiance of the African bush – as one does at the banks of that exceptional river. On the second January, we had spent the morning fishing, drifted down the river for an overdue afternoon drink, back to camp, had an exceptional, connoisseur-kind meal – in authentic Zimbabwe fashion we had taken two chefs with us, who even controlled to supply freshly baked bread every day.

We have been sitting around reminiscing approximately the best, old, horrific days, enjoying the bizarre glass of wine or six as one frequently does, being attentive to the noises of the night – the loud barks of the baboons, the hoarse coughs of the hyenas, the occasional roar of lions and the musical sound of the Christmas beetles. Just beautiful!

At about nine:30 pm all of us decided to retire for the night. Isn’t it great how tired one receives doing not anything all day? I settled into my little tent (one of these two-guy affairs made for undersized midgets!). It changed into extremely warm and sultry, so after approximately an hour of tossing and turning I determined to sleep at the stretcher, I had outdoor my tent. The tent became too small for the stretcher to in shape interior! I have to admit, that as I arranged my pillow and sheet on the stretcher, the notion of wild animals did pass my thoughts but I immediately disregarded the idea, settled down and turned into quickly rapid asleep.

At ten to the middle of the night, I changed into jerked to wakefulness by using the sound of the crunching of bones and the maximum disgusting smell. Confused and disorientated, at the start, I did not realize what became happening, but I quickly realized that the bones being scrunched had been my bones, as a hyena bit into my face and hand and started dragging me up the steep slope. I screamed and screamed, world star world star fights desperately as even though my lifestyles trusted it – which I think it really did – and thinking that my cease become insight! It ought to be only some seconds earlier than the brute, knowing that he’d bitten off greater than he could bite, let me pass and vanished into the night. As I knelt in the dirt, the blood pouring from my face, I found out that my fingers and feet nevertheless labored and that I may want to nevertheless suppose so I should be all proper!

I turned into definitely a piece of a multitude. My eye become in my ear, my ear was placing off, my face was a bloody pulp, my thumb turned into nearly detached from my hand and my arms were torn to shreds.

My son-in-law, Trevor Gilbert, and a chum picked me up and carried me to the thatched A-frame, wherein they sat me within the light. My daughter Jenna and her pal, Kim, then proceeded to place me collectively, cleansing up all my wounds and bandaging them. What a dreadful aspect for a daughter to need to do for her mother, but each she and Kim managed beautifully. Luckily, Trevor is one of those humans who have to have the best of the entirety and so his First Aid Kit turned into the first-class in the marketplace. It protected saline drips which have been used to easy all my wounds.


I changed into placed onto the front passenger seat of the 4×4 that was laid flat. Geoff held my head and Trevor drove me again thru the bush to the men’s health facility in Kariba, the closest small metropolis. I may want to listen Trevor and Geoff speaking.

“Don’t allow her to fall asleep Geoff,” said Trevor. “She’s lost plenty of blood, she’ll pass into surprise.” Every elephant and his buddy appeared to be on that bush music that night and were not too eager to get out of the manner.

“Oh no!” yelled Trevor, “The elites are blockading the manner. I cannot get thru.”

“Just maintain driving,” said the ever-stoic Geoff. Trevor did and miraculously the elephants parted and let us via.

Eventually, we arrived at Kariba at 2:30 am and met the handiest piece of negativity we discovered when the duty nurses took one observe me and stated, “Maiwee, mature! You can not come right here, we haven’t any facilities. You have to visit Harare.”

Harare became any other five hours force away.

Luckily, two Cuban medical doctors seemed and right now placed me on a drip, administered painkillers, gave me an anti-tetanus injection, rabies vaccine and sewed up my thumb, apologizing that they may do nothing for my face. They absolutely gave me a very good Z$120 well worth which was what government clinics charged at that point.

In the meantime, after many smartphone calls, Trevor had controlled to get maintain of my sister, Barbara, in Harare. She contacted MARS, the Medical Air Rescue Service who agreed to come and fetch me. BUT, are you able to accept as true with this? As there has been an air-site visitor’s controllers’ strike in progress they were simplest capable of land in Kariba whilst it changed into mild.

Trevor, meanwhile, went into Kariba metropolis to discover the airport supervisor who had the keys to open up the airport. After lots strolling round he came back with the supervisor’s keys, only for the main safety gate! Just earlier than the expected time of the plane’s arrival, Trevor was going to switch me to his car in order that there would be no delay at the airport whilst the plane landed. Here, the hospital team of workers refused to release me as they had been ‘responsible’ for me and I needed to journey in the men’s health facility ambulance, but the driver could need to ‘leap begin’ it for them when they had placed him! Well, Trevor took one observe the ambulance and said that not at all changed into his mom-in-law moving into that ‘loss of life entice’! It, in reality, changed into horrendous, literally tied together with twine and tires are worn right down to the metallic! After a whole lot argument, Trevor drove to the airport to fetch the men’s health practitioner and nursing sister to bring them again to Kariba Hospital.

They were superb, tested me and agreed that I could tour in Trevor’s 4×4 with them in attendance. Reaching the airport, the pilots apologized for no longer arriving sooner. I turned into quickly ensconced inside the Air Ambulance and inside the air. The MARS men’s health practitioner and sister were tremendous, very efficient and reassuring. During the flight, they radioed in advance to the Avenues Clinic for a receiving men’s health care professional to be expecting me and to have a plastic physician on standby using.

Upon my arrival on the Clinic, things went quite a whole lot consistent with the TV Soaps, in which I turned into handed over to the doctors and plastic physician, X-rayed, organized for theater, operated on, and then sent to the wards. Contrary to what I had been led to accept as true with would take place in Zimbabwe at that point, my treatment and nursing become 2d to none and I have nothing, however, a reward for all of the people who attended to me. They had been all fantastically professional and really worrying. We were so fortunate in that USA to have had so much devoted and fairly idea of specialists working towards there – pretty some of whom are nonetheless doing so.

Meanwhile, my poor husband, who become in Chipinge where we lived at that point, have been told through my elder daughter Alison, who lived on a farm in Middle Sabi, that I was attacked and dragged through my head via a hyena, the message she had received. Fearing the worst, he packed his funeral suit and spark off for Harare, making plans my service and selecting hymns in the manner. He becomes simply incredibly relieved to look me alive!

I am positive that I was on 1/2 the prayer lists within us of an upon my arrival in Harare and possibly the maximum of the others by the point I become in a theater. It becomes amazing how speedy the news had spread. I do consider that I am the case in point that prayers are spoken back. From the moment that hyena permit move of me, the whole thing was advantageous world star fights.

I did lose my eye but the men’s health care provider managed to re-connect my eye-lid, that is a massive plus for holding in a fake eye. He had hopes of locating tear ducts but this became no longer to be. After the first operation he idea he would do a couple of pores and skin grafts, however, all through the second operation ten days later he observed that it wasn’t essential. My face, especially the eyelid, changed into very swollen, desiring to be massaged for at least 1/2 an hour three times a day. This, my husband did. I might then lie returned and enjoy the fun of formication ( the word the letter “m”), following the stimulation to my face. I never end to be amazed at my recuperation. Having been for numerous neuro-scans, it seemed that the nerves in both my face and arms were running – extra or less.

The bone man controlled to position my very graunched hand lower back collectively with skewers and ability. It took him three operations and six months but I even have just about full movement back. When I said to him,

‘Thank you so much, I become virtually worried approximately my hand,’ his response was, ‘So was I – however you recognize something world star fights? This had so much to do with getting it proper.’ – and he tapped me on the head!

Fourteen operations later, I am amazed at my recovery and cannot accept as true with how properly my face is once I look lower back and recall how mutilated it turned into. My eye socket changed into reconstructed, the usage of the mucous membrane of my mouth, in order that it may maintain a pitcher eye which looks first-rate however does not see too well.

Much worse things take place to different humans. I am nevertheless alive. My injuries might have been tons more horrific. The response of my own family and pals and overall strangers had been brilliant. The prayers, support, good needs, vegetation and presents given to us by means of so many were implausible. People raised and donated, what I took into consideration to be, big amounts of money to assist towards my scientific expenses. This I observed very toughly to accept as I had continually been one of the folks that prepared this form of component.

Zimbabwe changed into and nonetheless is, still a very caring society to live in. People noticed what needed doing and did it. I arrived home to a full freezer and refrigerator and a residence complete of plants and food. My little school was in ideal running order, as I knew it’d be.

When something terrible takes place to you, it makes you prevent and take stock of all which you have. It permits you to place things into perspective and to realize what’s essential to your existence. So often we take everything without any consideration and do not recognize all that is ideal in our lives. We permit little matters to niggle us, tend to be judgmental and let things get out of share. Pull yourself up short. Think approximately your existence and all you need to be glad about. Focus on what is essential. Show your gratitude. Dare to live on.


Since my ‘Hyena Incident,’ I have met an extensive number of humans who have survived high-quality world star fights traumas and trust they have got come out as higher people. They have such fantastic attitudes and are fantastic human beings and a proposal to speak to. They dared to survive. You oughtn’t to go through trauma to have a survival mindset and an effective mindset. Remember that existence is ten percent what occurs to you and 90 percent the way you respond to it. You have the capability to reply and consequently the ‘responsibility’ to your lifestyles. Our past responses have delivered us to the region wherein we’re at now. Is it an area that you want to be in or does it want converting? You can exchange your lifestyles if you actually need to. Live lifestyles positively. Dare to continue to exist, thrive and lead a notable existence.

Originally posted 2017-10-02 10:20:31.