Category Archives: Inspiration

Justina Pelletier a Modern Day Martyr

Justina Pelletier a US Teenager With Mito Who has Become a Modern-Day Martyr

Justina Pelletier

A 14-year-old girl was taken to a reputable hospital by her parents because she was sick. Next thing they know she has been incarcerated by the hospital, and because they will not agree with the diagnosis made by doctors at the hospital, they have lost custody of their daughter.

How on God’s earth is this possible in the 21st century?

I can’t fathom this scenario, but what I think is that whatever they have done has made Justina Pelletier a modern day martyr. I pray she lives to see and tell the story! 

I am a mother (of three) and I would have been happy to take my now-grown children to a teaching hospital. Well I would have been until recently. I mean, teaching hospitals have the very best doctors, because they TEACH up-and-coming doctors; they keep up with research … they know what’s going on. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

I am not an American, so it does change the landscape just a little. So at home, my first prize (since I live in the Western Cape) would have been Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town … and there are others in different cities. But if I lived in the USA (as my youngest son does right now) I’d think that Boston’s Children’s Hospital was an even better bet! But in spite of this, right now I’m thinking Cape Town is a safer city for kids in need of care than Boston will ever be! But who am I to judge?

The hospital this young, very sick girl was taken to was indeed Boston Children’s in Massachusetts. Until that moment in time she had been seeing doctors at Tufts Medical Center. Tufts is an amazing place – and it’s also in Boston. What happened after her parents had her admitted because they were desperately concerned about her health, is the subject of a movie that I have absolutely no doubt will be made. Though sadly the way it looks right now, only the box office will benefit.


A caring family has been made to look like a bunch of crazy people who are unable to accept the decision of professionals. The fact that they were caring for their daughter – one of four – in accordance with the medical decision of Tufts, has been swept aside by a judge who has chosen to side with BCH, which in turn is aligned with Harvard Medical School. The fact that one of the daughters (Justina’s sister Jessica) has the same condition as Justina, who was diagnosed at Tufts, and which BCH doctors challenged, is bizarre in the extreme.

Who is going to be the first to write the script?

In reality, it’s a long, long story, and it’s a story I am going to continue to follow until it disappears behind the headlines once Justina Pelletier goes home where she belongs – which I really do hope happens. It is also a case, for want of a better word, that I will support every inch of the way. I don’t live in America. I don’t know the Pelletier family. But I come from a background that has exposed me to medical and psychiatric cases, and I have done a huge volume of investigative journalism. If my iota of interest can help I will have achieved something.

I believe that Justina Pelletier’s family deserves help from every human being who can summon the energy to do whatever it takes to literally set her free and take her home to her mother, father and three sisters.

Read about Justina Pelletier

Here are links to articles I have written for Guardian Liberty Voice over the past weeks. If you don’t know about the Justina Pelletier case, please read these stories. Maybe your voice can help her! I do not believe that anybody cannot be moved by her plight.

My Stories About Justina Pelletier a Modern Day Martyr

Please note that the links go from newest to oldest:

Parents of Justina Pelletier to Appeal Judge’s DCF Decision – Liberty Counsel is to follow every possible legal process to return Justina Pelletier to her parents in Connecticut so she can get medical care, access to a priest, and an education. This follows a court order late yesterday granting the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) continued custody of the desperately ill teenager until at least June 20 this year. In a press release issued last night, the international nonprofit organization said it would be filing a habeas corpus petition or an appeal against the judge’s custody decision.

Justina Pelletier Lawyer in 11th Hour Battle With Massachusetts DCF – Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, the newly appointed legal representative of severely ill Connecticut teenager Justina Pelletier, has filed a contempt of court motion against the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). This follows the refusal of the DCF to transfer care of Justina to Tufts Medical Center in Boston in spite of approval of the agreement by Judge Joseph F. Johnston on March 3. Even though the “order” was enforceable, the lawyer said, DCF has failed to make appointments with the doctors at Tufts, let alone ensure that Justina is seen by them. His 11th-hour court battle with the DCF was also prompted by the judge’s continued postponement over the past three months of a custody ruling that will decide whether the teenager can be released from the care of the DCF.

Judge Delays Justina Pelletier Ruling While Armed Guards Sit in on Visits – Massachusetts Judge Joseph Johnston delayed his promised Justina Pelletier ruling for the sixth time on Friday, stating that he will now issue the ruling on Tuesday March 25, 2014 in a facsimile message. The critically ill teenager’s family has been fighting a custody battle against the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) for more than a year. Meanwhile her older sister Jennifer is pleading with friends and campaigners to do all they can to support Justina. Devastated by the delays in getting medication for her sister, she tweeted Friday that armed guards sit in on visits while she is with Justina and that she is increasingly worried about her condition.

Dismay as Justina Pelletier Custody Case Postponed DFC Ignores Dr Phil – There was widespread dismay as Judge Joseph Johnston failed to deliver his ruling in the Justina Pelletier custody case in Boston yesterday. He postponed the case and said he would give a ruling “by Friday.” Meanwhile the celebrated Dr. Phil announced that he had called the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) on several occasions to discuss the case with them, but they had not returned any of his calls. While this authority ignores Dr. Phil, Justina remains at the Massachusetts Wayside Youth and Family Support Network where she has been since January. This is in spite of a DCF undertaking made nearly three weeks ago that she would be treated by a medical team at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, which is where her family wants her to be.

Dr. Phil Interviews Justina Pelletier Family on Day of Court Case (Video)The father and sisters of Justina Pelletier, the Connecticut teenager who has been held by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) for more than a year, will appear on the Dr. Phil show tomorrow. The interviews coincide with a court hearing during which the Pelletier family will continue their fight to regain custody of the 15-year-old who is desperately ill and confined to a wheelchair. It is thought that Judge Joseph Johnston will make his final custody ruling tomorrow. A rally is also planned for the day of the case, as well as a TweetStorm to spread awareness of her plight tonight.

After Protests DCF Agrees to Allow Justina Pelletier to Return to Tufts The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) has agreed that Justina Pelletier, the desperately ill Connecticut teenager at the center of a custody battle between her parents and the state, may return to Tufts Medical Center in Boston as requested by her parents. The DCF has also announced that it agrees to allow withdrawal of its charge of contempt of court against her father, Lou Pelletier who has broken a verbal court gag order not to speak to the media on several occasions. This action came after an increase in public protests and the involvement of a new team of lawyers funded by an anonymous billionaire earlier this week.

Billionaire, Lawyers, Campaigners Rally to Free Justina Pelletier – An anonymous billionaire has stepped forward to fund a campaign to free Justina Pelletier, the young American teenager at the heart of a dramatic custody battle between her parents and Massachusetts hospital authorities. While he will be footing the bill for new lawyers set to fight for Justina to be returned to the care of her parents, campaigners are planning a weekend rally and prayer vigil outside the facility where Justina is being held.

Outrage as Justina Pelletier Placed in Foster Care (Video) – There were scenes of outrage outside a Boston courthouse on Monday after a judge ruled that critically ill Justina Pelletier be placed in foster care for the next three weeks, until her next custody court hearing on March 17. Her mother, Linda Pelletier, collapsed and was carried away on a stretcher, while her father, Lou Pelletier, yelled and cried in dismay.

Court Battle to Free American Teen With Rare Disease From State Custody – A year after their daughter was taken into state custody and admitted to a psychiatric ward against their will, the court battle to free American teen, Justina Pelletier continues. While she has still not been reunited with her family, the 15-year-old, who has suffered from a rare disease for four years, has been removed from the hospital where she was incarcerated, and taken to an alternative facility. The next custody court hearing is on Thursday.





How to be a Winner

Persona of a Winner

Gary Player. Picture courtesy of

He wasn’t competing in the Nedbank Golf Challenge held at Sun City in December 2011, but Gary Player was still able to quietly share his attitude, which is very definitely that of a winner.

According to one of the TV presenters commentating while stormy weather had briefly delayed play, he had got up early to hit some balls around, when someone stopped to talk to him. Politely he told the man that he was busy practising because he thought he’d just found a way to up his game!

Perhaps he was inspired by the Senior Challenge that was played for the second time – and at the same time – as the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge. Eight of the world’s best “senior” (over-50) golfing stars were invited to play in the Challenge which offered significant prize money of US$880,000 (US$250,000 of which was the winners’ purse).

The Sun City golf course was, of course designed by the legendary Gary Player, who is rated as the most successful international golfer of all time. Yet there he was, at 76 years of age, working on improving his game! And he wasn’t even in the competition.

But then Gary Player is a true winner. Not only is he world class in his sphere of sport, he is also well known for his unwavering dedication to the principles of excellence. He has impeccable values, a scrupulous health and fitness regime, and he insists on the highest quality in all realms of his life. He has bred winning thoroughbred race horses at his stud farm in the Karoo. His Player Foundation has built schools and raised money for impoverished children. In addition to his sporting achievements, he was given the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award for dedication to charity in 2003, and then three years later, he was presented with the Payne Stewart Award by the PGA Tour, in recognition of his philanthropic achievements.

But then Gary Player has the mindset of a true winner.

As the phenomenal American author, Napoleon Hill wrote in his best-selling Think and Grow Rich (first published in 1937): “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”

Napoleon Hill was, of course, focused on acquiring wealth. However his concept may be used to achieve any goal in life. As he dogmatically states, “the starting point of all achievement is desire”. You have to want to achieve something. You have to WANT to WIN. Having identified what you desire, you have to be persistent. “With persistence you will win,” he says.

But it’s not just going to happen. You’re going to need a plan and the knowledge and skills to get where you want to go … to win. You may need to study, and you will need to practise your skills. For this you’ll need will-power and the ability to keep at it. If you make persistence and positive thinking a habit, it will start to come naturally.

You can’t simply wish for something and expect it to happen. Winners have the will to win. And they work at it constantly in every way they can. Certainly the power of positive thinking has a role to play. As Norman Vincent Peale in his incomparable book The Power of Positive Thinking (1952) taught, if your “wishes” are strong enough, and you have absolute faith in them, you can turn wishes into reality. But it takes a lot more than simply making a wish and dreaming.

Of course it’s not always easy, and whatever it is you want to achieve, chances are it’s going to take lots and lots of hard work. Any even when you have won – reached what you might consider the pinnacle of success – like Gary Player, you should keep on working at being a winner.

Freedom and Jeff

The Unbelievable Story of Freedom and Jeff

The story of Freedom and Jeff is the kind of tale you need to read when it seems like the world is spiraling out of control. It was emailed to me, and I decided to share it on my website. I also checked out the origins and discovered that Jeff is Jeff Guidry, a rhythm ‘n blues and rock guitarist from Washington, who volunteers at the Sarvey Wildlife Center in his spare time.

I also discovered that Jeff wrote a book two year’s ago, An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship.You can currently buy copies from Amazon at around just US$8.

Freedom and Jeff
Not many people get to have a photograph taken with a loving eagle

This is Jeff’s Story, in a Nutshell

Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer. She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn’t open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in four places. She’s my baby.

When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet’s office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.

This went on for four to six weeks, and by then she still couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn’t stand in a week. You know you don’t want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.

We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV.Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing eight months of chemo. Lost the hair – the whole bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.

Fast forward to November 2000.

The day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after eight rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.

An Eagle’s Kiss

Jeff and Freedom
Freedom the eagle and Jeff

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn’t said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don’t know how long . That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.

On a side note; I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.

I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom.

Cancer is a Strange Cell

You can go along for years in remission and then one day it pops its head up again. If you ever have it you will never be free of it.

Jeff’s Request

All you are asked to do is keep this circulating. Even if it’s only to one more person. In memory of anyone you know who has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it … or just someone who enjoys a GREAT STORY.