12 February 2021 ~ 15 Comentarios

The woman who came back from the afterlife

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

Mother Teresa was in Managua in 1988. Cardinal Obando organized a dinner for her and the author and her six-year-old daughter were invited. Suddenly the saint –she was not a saint in law back then, but she was in fact– said to the girl, “Take good care of your mother because she has a mission in this life.”

She, the author, smiled kindly and didn’t believe her. She thought she was telling her that out of courtesy.

The book was read with delight for three days. Delight and horror, like those scary movies in which pleasure comes from the fear we feel. It is written in straightforward prose, without pretensions or stylistic traps. The book, simple and well edited, with many photographs, almost all in color, even those that are unpleasant, compels the reader. It is titled Turning Tears into Smiles.

The author was traveling on Flight 414, in a Boeing 727, together with her husband, a prominent Nicaraguan businessman. She was worried. It was October 21, 1989. Her adopted country, Nicaragua, was preparing for the elections in which Violeta Chamorro would be elected in February 1990. They thought they would get rid forever from the evil Sandinismo after a decade of nightmare.

It was a regular flight on the Honduran airline TAN SAHSA. It carried 138 passengers and eight crew members. Only 11 people survived. It was an accident caused by the pilots’ human error, the worst in Central American aviation history. The plane disintegrated against a hill near the Honduran capital. The wreckage caught fire upon impact. Written like this it seems like a report for an insurance company, but it was an incredible pandemonium in which the black smoke destroyed the victims’ lungs.

The author was saved by her husband. With his face and arms burned (he lost several fingers in his left hand) he managed to untie the woman and lift her up. His wife had all her bones broken. All, those of the head, the trunk and the limbs. It was then that she began to think that if she made it out alive, she would dedicate herself to preventing other people from being disfigured by fire. After the first cures in Tegucigalpa, husband and wife were transferred to Miami. The doctors performed dozens of operations on her face, most of them through the mouth, and countless bone transplants and skin grafts.

Dr. Anthony Wolfe, the magician of plastic surgery, developed new procedures to treat his badly damaged patient. She spent months, years, in surgery, unable to speak, dying of pain, communicating through moans that her mother managed to decipher. She became addicted to morphine. It cost huge efforts to get that terrible drug out of her body. Fortunately, her family responded very well. Without them, perhaps she would have died of loneliness and sadness in the middle of a sea of ​​white coats.

Her name is Vivian Fernández de Pellas and her husband is Carlos Pellas Chamorro, one of the most diversified entrepreneurs in Nicaragua, the United States and Latin America, with interests in sugar, rum, hotels, banks, automobiles, construction. He descends from a Genoese Italian, a notable adventurer –like the Vicini of the Dominican Republic– who arrived in Managua in the 19th century, attracted by the passage of American caravans that traveled from coast to coast. Crossing the United States was more dangerous and slower. He fell in love with the country and its people. That’s where the saga began.

Vivian is Cuban. She went to Nicaragua as a child. The family moved to the country in August 1961, without a penny, following a massive raid in Cuba, where her father was detained in a theater for many days. The prisons were insufficient for so many political prisoners. Once again the rule of the hard-working immigrants was fulfilled. Shortly after the family arrived in exile, they were already succeeding.

Wealth is in people, in the entrepreneurs, in that 20% that chase their dreams and drag the remaining 80% like a whirlwind. This is what the “Superior Council of Private Enterprise” (COSEP) tries heroically to explain. It is the extended Vilfredo Pareto norm, although the Italian mathematician, who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries, did not speculate on this statistical mystery. Perhaps it is the fact that Roberto Argüello gave me when we talked about this article –Nicaraguan bankers are the best in Central America. Why? It is not known. But there is no doubt that Ramiro Ortiz Mayorga is among them.

Mother Teresa was right. Vivian and Carlos Pellas have founded APROQUEN in Managua. They have a burn unit that is the best in Latin America. The corporation covers all expenses. That is having a social conscience. What is the value of being an economically successful person if you are surrounded by infinite poverty and do nothing to avoid it? Vivian Pellas has a mission –to turn tears into smiles. And she often succeeds.

15 Responses to “The woman who came back from the afterlife”

  1. Orlando 14 February 2021 at 7:48 am Permalink

    Su comentario está esperando ser aprobado

    Lo más dramático de lo que nos está pasando, como ya muchos comentaristas de Cubadebate han señalado con toda razón, es que ya no contamos con la presencia física, aunque nos haya dejado su legado histórico, de nuestra eterno Comandante en Jefe, la personalidad política más importante por los siglos de los siglos

    !Como te extraño, Fidel, he leido varias veces-
    ya no estás para que nos saques de tan compleja situación.

    El ancianito se nos fue antes de poder poner en marcha sus ideas: Carne de res no nos iba a dar, ni de pollo ni de cerdo. Tampoco un vasito de leche. ? Langostas y camarones?
    ! Válgame Dios! Pero ya tenía casi probada la eficacia de la Moringa olifeira para alimento, medicina y condimento del pueblo.

  2. Manuel 14 February 2021 at 3:26 pm Permalink

    Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness https://www.amazon.com/dp/0393531643/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_02NWMW4HMZH65V42JXN0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    • Manuel 14 February 2021 at 3:32 pm Permalink

      … when my grandfather helped arrange a summer job for me in
      a psychiatric hospital, cleaning and filing. One day I bumped
      into an emaciated girl who was my classmate. She was a
      patient, and simply seeing her caused an uproar. I was so
      harshly admonished by so many people-our school
      principal, her parents, my parents, my grandfather, her
      doctors, my supervisor at work-to keep her hospitalization
      confidential that I felt as if I had committed a crime. I can
      only imagine how uncomfortable she felt as she struggled
      with both her illnesS and the commotion around her.
      Irecognized then the extent to which our society had
      made psychiatric conditions frightening and shameful, a
      double illness: first, the ailment itself, and second, society’s
      negative judgment.
      In any given year, nearly 20 percent of American adults
      -more than 60 million people-meet the criteria for a mental
      illness.² Many of these conditions are mild, short-term, and
      self-limiting. But others have serious consequences. Anorexia
      nervosa, perhaps the most fatal of all, has a mortality rate of
      as high as 10 percent, by some measures.³ Suicide, almost
      always associated with mental illnesses, is the third leading
      cause of death among American teenagers, and most who die
      never received any mental health care. In 2013, a Centers for
      Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey of American
      high school students nationwide showed that more than 13
      percent said they had at some time in their lives ereateda
      plan to commit suicide, and 17 percent “seriously considered
      suicide “s But many felt too ashamed to tell anyone in their
      family. Every year, mental illnesses account for at least 12
      percent of the total disease burden worldwide, and many
      people with serious mental illnesses and intellectual
      disabilities in low-income countries like South Sudan,
      Somalia, and Uganda are condemned to a life of confinement
      and abuse in their villages.

  3. Manuel 15 February 2021 at 9:05 pm Permalink

    Empiezan a aparecer las evidencias

    We now know Cuomo was “playing political games” and lying about the horrific death toll in his state’s nursing homes. The truth comes to us from Cuomo’s own attorney general and political protégé, Letitia James, who released a report last week showing that New York’s nursing-home deaths were at least 56 percent higher than the state reported—an estimated 13,000 deaths instead of the state’s tally of 8,711. State officials had declined to count nursing-home residents who died after being transferred to hospitals. Why the deception? Back in March, Cuomo ordered nursing homes to readmit patients who were being treated for Covid—a terrible decision that spread infections like wildfire. Every public official made mistakes in the early days of the pandemic, but to lie about your errors to protect your claim of heroism is a form of “moral depravity.”

    • Julian Perez 15 February 2021 at 9:18 pm Permalink

      Cuomo es un asesino. No merece otro calificativo. Y la prensa le cantaba loas y lo pintaba como el que mejor habia sabido tratar el covid. Por eso la credibilidad de la prensa es nula. Si dice algo probablemente lo contrario sea lo cierto.

  4. Manuel 16 February 2021 at 6:03 am Permalink

    “ Many long-haul COVID-19 patients, who are relatively young and experienced only mild symptoms, are now dealing with headaches, numbness, confusion, memory loss, difficulty focusing, and an intolerance for physical activity, where climbing stairs can result in dizziness and heart palpitations. Chronic neurological symptoms have also been observed in Ebola patients.
    (CLAUDIA PAUL/MOUNT SINAI HEALTH SYSTEM

  5. Manuel 16 February 2021 at 6:34 am Permalink

    problems used to measure intelligence differ from the real world, which

    Are for high stakes, sometimes life-changing ones

    Are emotionally arousing, to the point that emotions often cloud people’s better judgement

    Are highly context-driven, requiring people to balance many conflicting interests

    Lack a single “correct” answer

    Lack any indication that there even is a problem; or else, the nature of the problem is unclear

    Need a collective solution, often by people with different backgrounds and interests

    Offer only vague paths to a solution, or seemingly no good paths at all

    Unfold and need to be solved over long periods of time

    Make it hard to figure out what information is needed or where that information is to be found

    Come riddled with numerous bits of false or misleading information, sometimes deliberately posed to make a valid solution more difficult

    Solving such problems requires a mixture of creative, analytical, practical and wisdom-based skills – the foundation of the notion of adaptive intelligence (see main story). ■

  6. Manuel 16 February 2021 at 6:36 am Permalink

    problems used to measure intelligence differ from the real world’s, cuz these last ones:

    Are for high stakes, sometimes life-changing ones

    Are emotionally arousing, to the point that emotions often cloud people’s better judgement

    Are highly context-driven, requiring people to balance many conflicting interests

    Lack a single “correct” answer

    Lack any indication that there even is a problem; or else, the nature of the problem is unclear

    Need a collective solution, often by people with different backgrounds and interests

    Offer only vague paths to a solution, or seemingly no good paths at all

    Unfold and need to be solved over long periods of time

    Make it hard to figure out what information is needed or where that information is to be found

    Come riddled with numerous bits of false or misleading information, sometimes deliberately posed to make a valid solution more difficult

    Solving such problems requires a mixture of creative, analytical, practical and wisdom-based skills – the foundation of the notion of adaptive intelligence (see main story). ■

    • Manuel 16 February 2021 at 6:39 am Permalink

      School are focus on traditional “intelligence”
      But “ Adaptive intelligence, which is relevant to solving complex problems in the real world. It consists of four main skill sets: creative thinking, analytical thinking, practical thinking and wisdom (see main story). Questions designed to test adaptive intelligence look very different from the narrowly focused questions characteristic of IQ tests and many standardised tests used to determine schooling and career opportunities, but good performance on such tests can be a better indicator of potential and future success than conventional academic tests”

    • Manuel 16 February 2021 at 6:40 am Permalink

      Schools have been focusing on traditional “intelligence”
      But “ Adaptive intelligence, which is relevant to solving complex problems in the real world. It consists of four main skill sets: creative thinking, analytical thinking, practical thinking and wisdom (see main story). Questions designed to test adaptive intelligence look very different from the narrowly focused questions characteristic of IQ tests and many standardised tests used to determine schooling and career opportunities, but good performance on such tests can be a better indicator of potential and future success than conventional academic tests”

      • Manuel 16 February 2021 at 8:58 am Permalink

        ‘ Example question 1
        Social conflict
        “Qora and Tamlin, two countries in the Middle East, are having a serious clash. The Taron river flows in the direction from Qora to Tamlin. Tamlin claims that Qora is diverting more than its fair share of the water from the river. It is getting ready to go to war over this precious resource. What should the two countries do?”
        Example of a strong answer —
        one that seeks (a) a common good; (b) by balancing participants’ interests and larger collective interests; (c) over the long and short term; (d) through the infusion of positive ethical values:
        “Qora and Tamlin need outside help to resolve their differences regarding the river water. They should each appoint a commission of people who are water experts from their own country. These people should be responsible for choosing top experts to form a five-person panel. One expert should be from Qora, one from Tamlin and three from outside with no allegiance to either country. Qora and Tamlin should agree in advance to abide by the panel’s recommendation. The deliberations of the panel should be held in secret to reduce external attempts to influence it, and the panel should be provided with any resources it needs to make a decision. The panel should propose a solution and vote on it, with a majority decision accepted as the final solution to the problem. There should be no right of appeal of this decision.”
        Example question 2
        Personal conflict
        “Richard and Jennifer broke up. They both left you text messages saying that they want to talk to you about what happened. You know they both will want you to take their side. What should you do?”
        Example of a strong answer:
        “I would talk to both Richard and Jennifer. I would tell them that I consider them both dear friends. I also would explain, and ask them to understand, that I hope to stay friends with both of them, support both of them and help them reach their goals, whether separately or, if they decide to get back together again, jointly. I would ask them how I can help them in any way at all that doesn’t involve my hurting the other. I would tell them I’m there for them and they should call on me for support any time.” ■

  7. Julian Perez 16 February 2021 at 10:35 am Permalink

    https://patriots4life.com/horowitz-tennessee-lawmakers-introduce-bill-to-prevent-businesses-from-discriminating-against-customers-without-masks

    Comienza la rebelion.

    • Julian Perez 16 February 2021 at 10:36 am Permalink

      Desenmascarados de todos los estados, unios!

      • Julian Perez 16 February 2021 at 10:42 am Permalink

        Yo pensaba que Elvis era de Tennessee, pero ahora leo que era de Mississippi. Tennessee es donde fallecio, donde esta enterrado y donde esta su museo, que ahora se podra visitar sin mascara.

        • Julian Perez 16 February 2021 at 10:45 am Permalink

          Espero que los Beatles SI sean de Liverpool y mi despiste no sea total 🙂 Mejor ni lo busco.


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