An Update on Lindsay de Feliz

posted in: Blogging 31
[box] December 14, 2019 UPDATE: It is with profound sadness and shock that I tell you that Lindsay de Feliz died on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at the hands of a still unknown assailant.[/box]

 

Those of you who follow the Comments on my blog probably saw this one I left on last week’s post where Lindsay de Feliz was my guest:

Many of you who knew Lindsay already, knew of her ordeal at the hands of an armed robber in her home two weeks ago. In its wake, she and I discussed how to handle her already scheduled guest post and she not only didn’t want to postpone it, she decided she’d answer questions about the attack as they came up. They didn’t and I decided not to push the topic. She’s now written about her ordeal (she calls it her incident in classic understatement) on her own blog and I urge you to read her story and offer your support. Here’s the link
https://yoursaucepans.blogspot.com/2019/02/violence-in-dominican-republic-incident.html?m=1

While there, you might want to check out her earlier post with photos from her recent trip back to the UK. Lovely thatch roofed cottages, yummy English food (I know; I too thought that was an oxymoron), even an organized English kitchen drawer are all there for your perusing pleasure.

I wanted to be sure that all my subscribers had a chance to read her account and so I’m going to reprint it here. At the end there is a link to the GoFundMe campaign a few  of her friends have set up to help support her.

Here is Lindsay post from her own blog, Friday, February 22, 2019

Violence in the Dominican Republic – The Incident

I promised to tell you about what I call The Incident, which may also explain why I haven’t blogged much recently.

It was Tuesday, February 5 and Danilo and a Canadian lady staying with us were in his rustic gym in the back garden. She wanted to get fit and so after they had done their exercises in the gym, they would go for a 15- or 20-minute run. I heard them in the gym, but I was busy collecting articles to do the news for DR1 – the expat Dominican Republic forum.

It was exactly 9.30 am when I was interrupted by a lady messaging who wanted information about the Police Good Conduct report in the DR, and I was about to reply to her when a man slid open the patio door to the garden and walked towards me. I had never seen him before but in his right hand he had a gun, pointing at me. He stopped about 6 feet in front of my desk.

I didn’t have time to ask him anything before he started screaming “Don’t look at me” which he did several times. I asked him calmly what he wanted, and told him to calm down. I would have used the English saying “Don’t get your knickers in a twist,” but am not sure how that translates to Spanish.

He said he wanted money, and I replied that I had some but not a lot, and asked him not to hurt the dogs. I had one each side of me, just looking at him. I told the dogs to stay and shut up and stood up – he made me put my hands in the air – and went to the dining table next to my desk where my handbag was.

I reached in for my purse, which made him start waving the gun about, and was about to get the money out of my purse when he stopped me, so I put it down on the table. He then screamed at me to lie on the floor. I kept telling him I did not understand as I wanted to know if he spoke English and also, I had no idea why he would want me to lie down.

He pointed to the corner of the room behind the dining table and I sat down. He told me to turn around and lie face down, and put the gun to the back of my head. I asked him not to kill me. But there was no reply and he did not speak again. I took my glasses off and lay them next to me on the floor before lying down.

He then twisted both arms behind my back and sat on my back – there was no way I could move my arms or my body. I assumed he was going to tie me up. I should be so lucky. Then he put some sort of cloth or towel in my mouth and covered my nose with it as well and held it tightly in place with his hand which by now had a surgical glove on it. I could not breathe in nor out. A most peculiar and uncomfortable feeling. I tried to fight to move my head and my arms as I was desperate to breathe but each time I did, he smashed my face into the tiled floor. I tried playing dead (as I have seen that work on the television)  and again he grabbed me by the hair on the back of my head and hit my face against the floor.

I had hoped there would be chloroform on the pad – but there was nothing, and I just wanted it over with. And then after around a minute, it was. Blissful nothing.

Meanwhile, Danilo and the guest returned from their run and he heard someone running through the woods. Danilo quickly approached the house on high alert and immediately saw I was not at my desk. He scanned the room and saw me lying on the floor in the corner, face down. He turned me over and my eyes were open but unseeing. He and the guest quickly put me in the car, unconscious and set off at speed for the hospital. Soon I began thrashing around, then talking nonsense and then the guest noticed a large baseball sized lump appearing on my temple. It grew and then opened showering her and me in blood and continued to bleed profusely. I was then able to say I had been attacked – until then they thought I had just fallen over – and I thought I might have been shot in the head.

At the hospital following x-rays and a cat scan it was confirmed I had not been shot nor did I even have a fractured skull. The lump on my head was drained, cleaned and stitched. My mouth was cut everywhere inside – no idea how and I was covered in bruises. I was admitted for twenty-four hours and the next day was home. The bruises have mostly gone now, but I have been left with neurological damage on my left side so I need more hospital visits and tests to see what is causing it and if it can be cured in any way. I am hoping just time will heal it.

You will be wondering how I felt during all this. Well I felt no pain at any time, but being suffocated is not pleasant at all. I have no idea how long it would take to kill someone but I don’t think I could have managed much longer. It appears he heard them coming back from the run before the deed was done, so smacked me hard on my temple with the gun, hoping that would do the trick. Takes more than that to get rid of me! I was pretty sure I was going to die and the only thoughts I had were that I hoped Danilo and guest would not return or he might kill them and I did not want him to hurt the dogs – which he didn’t. My overriding emotion, once I had worked out fighting him was not working, was total acceptance of what was to come – I just wanted the discomfort of being suffocated to be over quickly. So, I was much calmer than I would have thought I would be in that situation.

And the perp? It took me a few days to work it out. He looked Dominican but he didn’t. He dressed like a Dominican but he didn’t. He spoke like a Dominican but he didn’t. And I have never heard of Dominicans suffocating people. This guy had done it before – I felt like he was a professional. It turns out he was Venezuelan – there are tens of thousands in the Dominican Republic now, having fled from their country, and yes, he had killed by suffocation a few times before in Venezuela. It was a total random attack as he was scouting out houses which back onto the woods to rob. He thought the house was empty as he saw Danilo and the guest leaving on their run, hence he was surprised to see me, and as he did not want to be identified he had to dispose of me.

Several different police forces came from all of the surrounding areas. They were very pleasant but they took no forensic evidence at all, not my clothes, nor fingerprints, nor did they search the area. The local prosecutor was very professional as was the medical examiner who had to assess my injuries.

So, all’s well that ends well – and the current level of nerve damage is liveable with, assuming it gets no better or worse. I am very very thankful as the ending could have been very different. And it’s another chapter for book 3!!

 

Lindsay 8 hours after the attack.

 

Here’s that Go Fund Me Link   and a way to be a part of her recovery.  Thank you.

 

Next week blogging day falls on Ash Wednesday. I know nothing about this holy day except for the spot of ash I would see on co-workers faces, back when I had co-workers.  I’m now curious to know a bit more about it.  Stay tuned.

31 Responses

  1. susan scott
    | Reply

    What awful violence and awful suffering even though Lindsay felt calm and accepting I wish her every good wish for her complete recovery and that while in the UK she gets the best health care possible. Also, that it appears that the scum bag was arrested since Lindsay says he’d killed before?

    • Lindsay de Feliz
      | Reply

      I am still in the DR Susan. The health care here has been fine and cheaper than the UK as although there is the free National Health Service there, as I am a non resident now, I have to pay. Yes the scum bag (good name for him) was arrested.

      • susan scott
        | Reply

        Thanks for the update Lindsay both geographically and mentally … and I’m glad that the scum bag was arrested and all good wishes for your full recovery. Your attitude clearly plays a huge role in this as well as the caring of all in the community and beyond –

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I too have been struck by Lindsay’s calm response to this whole “incident,” (as she calls it) while I’ve been referring to it as her “trauma.” I’m thinking that aspect of her personality — that calm acceptance of what IS — also helped her take the many striking cultural differences in stride when she first arrived in the DR. Given how I reacted to the cultural differences I faced in Kazakhstan, I’m truly impressed.
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Update on Lindsay de FelizMy Profile

  2. Merril D Smith
    | Reply

    What an awful experience for her. I hope she is OK–both physically and mentally. I can image there would be mental trauma from such an ordeal. Like Susan, I assumed he was caught?
    Merril D Smith recently posted…A WishMy Profile

    • Lindsay de Feliz
      | Reply

      I am getting there thanks Merril. So far no mental issues and I keep reminding myself that no one else but me is in charge of my mind and mental well being so I choose to be fine, not concerned. I am more forgetful than usual, forget words and where I put things and according to my husband I am more grumpy than usual! Hopefully these issues will resolve over time, but if they don’t, and that is the worst of the effects of the attack, I can live with them. Yes he was caught.
      Lindsay de Feliz recently posted…Violence in the Dominican Republic – The IncidentMy Profile

      • Janet Givens
        | Reply

        Hi Lindsay, I love how you say “no one else is in charge of my mental well-being.” I so often hear people say, “You made me so …..,” doing just the opposite. As you know, you have my admiration and respect.
        Janet Givens recently posted…An Update on Lindsay de FelizMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Merril. Often, the extent of the psychological damage isn’t seen for some time. I plan to stay in touch with Lindsay via Skype for some time. So much is still unknown. Thanks for adding your concern.
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Update on Lindsay de FelizMy Profile

  3. Laurie Buchanan
    | Reply

    The physical damage we can see—horrible. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotional wounds that being attacked would cause. I’m grateful that Lindsay’s in the UK and wish her well as she recovers externally and internally.
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted…Rock On!My Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Laurie. The photos and stories of Lindsay’s holiday visit to her family in the UK are entertaining and well done. I think you’d enjoy them.

      I followed her in real time and her comments during that time let me know she’d be a great guest here; she has a deft ability to pay attention to those differences that are cultural, and not personal.

      Thanks for stopping by. Welcome home.
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Update on Lindsay de FelizMy Profile

  4. Lindsay de Feliz
    | Reply

    Thanks Laurie. Am coping with the emotional wounds quite well at the moment, and learning lots about the effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries – TBI. I am in the DR rather than the UK – I was in the UK over Christmas and this happened a month after my return to the Dominican Republic.

  5. Darlene Foster
    | Reply

    What a scary experience. I am pleased to hear Lindsay is OK. We never know how we will react to a situation like this.

  6. Lindsay de Feliz
    | Reply

    Hi Darlene. You are so right, we never know how we will react not only during the event but also afterwards. To be honest I was amazed how calm I was during the attack – no screaming, not panicking, no rapid heartbeat and not scared. As I was being suffocated, following the initial “Oh my God I can’t breathe” feeling, there was a feeling of peace and acceptance which was very welcome.

  7. Kathleen Pooler
    | Reply

    Oh Lindsay, how frightening. I am so sorry for all you have endured. And the fact that you can write about it so calmly and clearly is amazing. Thanks for updating us. I wish you a speedy recovery, especially from your neurological symptoms. Wow, life is so precious and can change in a heartbeat. Take good care.

  8. Lindsay de Feliz
    | Reply

    Thanks so much Kathleen. Yes life is so precious – live every day as if it were your last!

  9. Carol Taylor
    | Reply

    As always such violence shocks me and Lindsays acceptance maybe saved her life…I am pleased the low life has been caught and hope there will be no lasting effects mentally or physically…Such a violent and shocking experience.
    Carol Taylor recently posted…Waste Not! Want Not! …Australia plans to dump one million tons of sludge on the Great Barrier Reef!My Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Carol. I hadn’t thought how Lindsay’s calm and accepting demeanor could well have been a critical factor that enabled her to survive during the ordeal. I’d only thought about how it served her afterward. Thanks for adding that.
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Update on Lindsay de FelizMy Profile

    • Lindsay de Feliz
      | Reply

      Thanks Carol. Recovering well so far.

  10. Ally Bean
    | Reply

    What an awful story, well told– but awful that it happened. I cannot imagine how scared Lindsay must have been yet able to carry on in a calm way. I’m glad that she’s ok, but why must things like this even happen? I’m glad to know that this man was caught.
    Ally Bean recently posted…#ThursdayDoors | Visiting The Nature Center, Finding A Few Old DoorsMy Profile

  11. Joan Z. Rough
    | Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Lindsay, but am glad that you are doing well after such a horrendous attack.

    Blessings to you. May you quickly heal both body and mind, returning to a happy life.

  12. Cheryl
    | Reply

    Hi Janet, a story both inspiring and horrifying at the same time. What a brave women Lindsay is. I’m not sure I’d be able to do anything remotely normal for a long time after such an experience. I often wonder how can a person do that to another human being, a stranger – it’s beyond comprehension. Fortunately there are more good people than bad in this world. Unfortunately there are still incidents like this one where innocent and good people are harmed, and sometimes killed. Thank you for sharing, and please let Lindsay know that I’m just one more person wishing her a speedy recovering back to good health (I know the mental scars will take a lot longer than the physical ones). Wishing both you and Lindsay peace, and Happy Women’s Day. 🙂

  13. Bette Stevens
    | Reply

    Such a terrible ordeal. Love and prayers for Lindsay…

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thank you Bette. I still find myself thinking I’ll write Lindsey and ask some question about life in the DR, or, stranger yet, I want to hear her take on what happened to her. She’d tell that story so well. And then the reality hits me.
      Janet Givens recently posted…POWER: My word for 2020My Profile

  14. Janet Morrison
    | Reply

    Horrible! I am so sorry. I know I’m somehow a year+ late seeing this.
    Janet Morrison recently posted…Did I Find Contentment and Peace in 2020?My Profile

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