by Katherine Willow

Amanda

This feisty young lady recovering from extreme alcoholism made it on the bus to a trauma and addiction program in Windsor against all odds.  She is flourishing there after spending over six rich and full weeks here gradually reducing her alcohol consumption while doing natural therapies and helping in the kitchen and gardens.

We look forward to having Amanda back in a few weeks and supporting her in the next steps in her life!  Congratulations for getting this far in such a difficult process and thanks to all who helped!

I also want to mention that, in trade for Amanda staying at Healing House, a beautiful three-part mural has just been completed on our three camp cottages just off the parking lot. It really dresses up their façades. If you’re in the neighbourhood, drop by and have a look!

(One of our staff took some great pics of the artist at work, which we’ll post next month.)

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Mariah

(photo of Mariah courtesy Devon Chambers)

When Mariah called me from New York state at the end of June saying she needed two months of rest and good food, I thought this was an easy healing house guest for the summer.

Wrong.

After three days with us, Mariah, an intelligent and sensitive 53 yr old woman, collapsed into bed and needed complete 24 hr care.  So began an intense learning process which would deserve many pages to tell properly.  It turns out that Mariah had been diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer after prior surgery for ovarian cancer, and unknown even to herself, was waiting for a safe environment to let down into deep healing.  Luckily we understood through German New Medicine that it was a healing; from any other perspective it looked like she was dying.

We used every avenue available to us to support Mariah: buying or renting medical equipment, including a wheel chair, for the home; having a lab come to take blood to monitor her progress and our treatments; taking her to see Shannon Rampton, the wonderful chiropractor in Carp, to completely relieve debilitating back pain; having massage therapists Gwen and Amber give her massages and craniosacral therapy in her room when she couldn’t leave her bed; hiring extra help to give care and prevent bedsores; sending her off to a hospital in New York for blood transfusions twice for extreme anemia; having Dr Zhmurko prescribe constitutional homeopathic remedies and Ilsedora Laker consult on the core German New Medicine issues; calling several medical doctors for helpful insights and another perspective; boosting her spirits with various interesting visitors to the centre; letting three year old Felix share his unconditional love (“Are you fixed yet, Mariah?”); inviting Father Jack to offer his spiritual wisdom; using nourishing organic food, vitamins, minerals and medicinal wine to support her in rebuilding her exhausted body; listening with attention while she processed her fears; and most of all, offering constant encouragement that she can do this, pull through and  go back into her life with meaning and purpose.

At this very moment, I am sitting in a U.S. hospital beside a sleeping Mariah as she is being given her third and final transfusion before she goes home this Saturday.  We had waited with baited breath for the hemoglobin results, as we need her levels to stop dropping in order for her to move forward in her healing.  With great exhilaration and high fives we heard that they hadn’t dropped at all in a whole week!!  A moment of sheer joy.  The gracious and respectful oncologist said Mariah could have a unit of blood, which was thankfully accepted, even though we were hoping for two units.  Ten minutes later a nurse announced that two units had been previously set aside and that she could have both.  THANK YOU!

So now we sit in a pleasant area with large windows and caring nurses while the life-giving blood drips slowly into Mariah’s veins.  I get to write and she gets to relax, eat and watch the cooking shows on TV (she is an excellent cook herself).  I will prepare a report on her process with suggestions for the next practitioners she will work with in New York to continue the healing and we’ll be a support from a distance.  Mariah is welcome to come back in the future, maybe as a German New Medicine teacher herself, helping others pull through situations that might look hopeless to the medical community.

We have come through an extraordinary journey together and have learned much—both about the possibilities of a healing house in conjunction with all kinds of medicines as well as about ourselves.  What Mariah has given us with her faith in the natural healing process will serve many others and help lay the template for how to work with extreme situations.  We all thank her, hug her, wish her well on the next leg and hope to see her back.