June 30, 2016
BENEFITING: HORSESISTERS & ASSOCIATES INC
Not many people can take their passion and make it their career! Since 1998, I have been one of those fortunate people. Becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2000, I have nurtured and expanded the services we at HorseSisters Equine Assisted Therapy & Rescue Sanctuary, http://www.horsesisters.org provides throughout the State of Florida. There's rescuing homeless horses and rehabilitating and retraining them to become therapy horses. Some go on to become adopted! There's the therapeutic riders of all ages and abilities and we can accommodate them all. And then there is the Equine Special Olympics...wow, what a life changing project for all involved. Not to leave any family member out, we provide riding lessons for able-bodied souls as well. We even have full moon rides and historic and scenic rides right into the Indian River on the Space Coast. We do life coaching and team building for companies and individuals. And our community gets our services for free in parades, memorials, grand openings and historical events. And I have been lucky enough with my sweet husband of 41 years to provide horse-drawn services to support the rescue. We are all volunteers and always have been. Well my dear husband Ron had a heart attack in 2012 and received two stents. He tried hard to bounce back. In 2014, he ended up having open heart surgery to replace an artery in his heart. This has been an impossible task for him to come back to the man he was. He is in the hospital as I write this with congestive heart failure. So our life has changed completely.
In early January, I was bitten by a rescue dog we took in some months earlier. Just a little 18 lb. terrier. He was jealous of our other male and he was in my lap when he burst into the bedroom. That dog ran under the night table and pulled the plug on the only light. So in the pitch dark, I am being attacked. My fingers and hands and a serious tear to the bone on my right arm. Ron was bit as well when he came to pull him off of me. I went right to the bathroom to wash the wounds and apply some pressure to get ready to go to the ER. I used our drop down shower and cold water for about 5 minutes. The ER stitched us up and sent us on our way with antibiotics in hand. Ron healed wonderfully but I did not. Back to the ER in 7 days and I was admitted into the hospital. My wound was cultured and it was found that I had a flesh eating bacteria to fight. I was one very sick lady. There was a possibility I could lose the first joint on my tall man finger on my right hand. I was filled with 20 kinds of antibiotics and again sent home. But I did not get better. Back to the ER and admitted again, this time with emergency surgery where they had to scrape my bone in my arm and my finger. 16 total days in the hospital and antibiotic therapy for 60 more days. Plus I could still lose the tip of my finger. This has changed my ability to be there for the rescue and put a bigger burden on the volunteers in trying to fundraise for the charity. We have a great caregiver on the premises for the horses and property and we are realigning our focus to par down all that we do. Of course it looks as if the horse drawn vehicles will be the first to go. Sometimes life has other ideas for you...and my path, or me...is defined and sometimes out of our control. I am so happy to have survived this bacteria with minimal loss of tissue...and my life. I am grateful for my life. I was saved from dying, or losing limbs. I am alive. I want to continue grooming someone to take over the charity so our good work can continue. Bless you for believing in me and this passion I call my "work" that I never need a vacation from. Please help my charity while I mend and heal and Ron continues to do the same. We are grateful to be alive.