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Journal Opinion
Bradford , Vermont
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July 2, 2014     Journal Opinion
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July 2, 2014
 

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Page 2--JOURNAL OPINION--July 2, 2014 Aaron Strobel is pictured with his wife Melissa. The two were married last month but only after Aaron overcame a series of illnesses earlier this year. COURTESY PHOTO FUNDRAISER! HELP US RAISE MONEY FOR OUR COSTA RICAN MISSION TRIP! WIN THIS SWING SET THAT CAN BE SEEN AT HATCHLAND DAIRY BAR ON ROUTE 10 NORTH HAVERHILL, NH. FOR A DONATION OF JUST $20, YOUR NAME WILL BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWINGI So Stopin At Hatchland DaiwBar To Enter! The drawing will be July 5 at a Block Party spored b  ! .......... North Haverhill UMC from 4 p.m. to-9 p,m, Ticket for thq :vet will be $6.50 for youth, $12 for adults (choice of meat) or for $20 you can have it all[ There will be a chili cookoff to include all your favorite restau- rants and organizations as well as live music throughout the night and stuff for kids to do! If your organization would like to participate in the chili cookoff or youy would like to be on the schedule to play, please call 603-731-3517 and ask for Tim. MEADOW LEASING Littleton, N.H. Ground Level Containers Office Storage Trailers 20' - 40' Trailers 28' - 48' 1-800'762-7026 603-444-7026 Benefit planned for Have: rhill couple by Marianne Farr NORTH HAVERHILL--Aaron Strobel of Pike has battled the largest and most intense fires in the country as part of a 20-person crew called the Flathead Hotshots. A year ago his wife, Melissa, organized a fundraising event at the Colatina Exit for the Wildland Firefighting Foundation to help support the families of 19 wildland firefighters who were killed in Prescott, Arizona on June 30. But in the last year the newly- weds have been fighting a personal battle. Strobel has endured two major surgeries to repair damage to his heart and brain that resulted from a rare infection. Now the North Haverhill Fire Department is step- ping up to help the couple. On July 12 the NHFD is hosting a steak dinner at the Robert Clifford Memorial Building in Woodsville to raise money for the Str0bels. The 33-year-old Strobel began his career as a wildland fire fighter in 2006 and has worked for the USDA Forest Service in a variety of places including Double Springs, Alabama; Hungry Horse and Spotted Bear Ranger District in Montana; and Manchester, Vermont. He also worked for a Nature Conservancy Fire Crew in Folly Beach, South Carolina. For three years, from 2010 through 2012, Strobel was part of the Flathead Hotshots crew, an interagency hotshot crew based in And when the wildfire season wanes in the West, members of the fire crews return to their homes. Last fall Strobel returned to Pike where he resumed his second winter working as a residential counselor and environmental educator at the Mountain Valley Treatment Center. He also began training for a new position as the crew leader on a Forest Service fire crew in the Green Mountain Forest, based in Manchester, VT. And he and his then-fiancr, Melissa McDonnell, were planning a wedding for June 2014. That winter, Strobel became ill with what he first thought was a cold, but when the cough, fatigue, night sweats and extreme weakness per- sisted, he underwent a battery of tests to determine what was causing his illness. After the flu and Lyme Disease were ruled out, he was d agnosed with pneumonia and given a 'ound of antibiotics. Once the round of antibiotics was complete, Strobel began his first day of work at a job in Ohio. But after only a short time outside, his hands and lips turned blue and he was taken to an urgent care clinic. He was then sent by ambulance to a larger hospital where he was kept for l0 hours for a series of tests on his heart and lungs. This time, he was diagnosed with a severe case of anemia and advised to treat it with over-the-counter iron Because it had gone untreated for so long, the doctors said antibiotics alone would be ineffec- tive at repairing the damaged valve. Instead it would need to be removed and replaced. He received an agressive course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria before undergoing heart surgery. He was kept at Dartmouth for a week, and then would have two weeks to recover at home in order to be strong enough for the surgery. Once he returned home, the fevers would not break despite the treatments he received and it was decided that the surgery would have to be done immediately. Mean- while, little bits of the infection, called "emboli," were breaking off and invading other parts of his body. Two of these lodged in his brain, but the doctors decided not to remove them before performing the heart surgery because the risk of stroke was too great. On April 7, Strobel went in for what originally was estimated to be a three- to five-hour surgery. His aortic valve was removed and replaced with a valve from a cow. Although the cow valve will only last 8-20 years, requiring several re- placement surgeries, Strobel chose this option because he would still be able to do most of the things he could do prior to his illness. A man-made mechanical valve would have required replacement only be found by actually seeing inside the heart. This would have led to a stroke later on, and because Strobel's did not close, it was worsened by the infection. The team patched the hole, lengthening the surgery to eight hours. Strobel went home after a week in the hospital following the surgery. A month later, doctors found that his heart and valve were healing properly, but the two emboli had caused serious damage to the blood vessels in his brain and he had to undergo emergency surgery. In spite of everything, the surgery went well and the Strobels were married on June 21. But the costs of the emergency treatment were staggering. So, Strobel's friends in the local fire department are helping out. On July 12 the NHFD is hosting a steak dinner at the Robert Clifford Memorial Building in Woodsville to raise money for the Strobels. The dinner will start at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased either at Hatchland Dairy Delights in North Haverhill or Antique Rose Florist in Woodsville. There will also be a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. A website for donations has been created at www.caringbridge.org/ visit/aaronstrobel. Marianne Farr can be reached at mfarr/ onews, com. Hungry Horse and on duty from May pills. He flew home the next day to only once, but his lifestyle would thrugh Nvember" Htsht crews recver" When he wke uP n his have changed drastically because Fairlee are an elite group comprised of 20 first morning home with a tempera- any sort of trauma would be life firefighters trained in wildfire ture of 103.9, he went to the threatening. Damnouth-HitchcockMedical Cen- Another surgeon was called in suppression tactics. They are held to ]  physical standards and must be e to undertake difficult, danger- ous and stressful assignments. The crew worked for 14 days in a row, 16 hours a day, with two days offto rest and recuperate until they were called to another fire. Strobel fought fires in the western states of New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Colorado. [B FLAT00 FOREIGN AUTO00 I 30+ Years' f-' I Experience With  I oth Foreign & Domestlg./;,/ I 603-989-3335 "- J Mental Health Crisis Service 1-800-639-6360 Call toll-free 24 hours a day. CLARA MARTIN CENTER ter where he learned that his illness had been misdiagnosed. After two days of tests, he was diagnosed with endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the blood. Strobel was born with a slightly irregular aortic valve, leaving it vulnerable to this infection, which targeted the valve. when the operating team found a hole in his septum, called a ventricular septic disorder. While it is not unusual for a baby to born with this hole, it usually closes on its own during childhood. The doctors never would have discovered this if Strobel hadn't needed the surgery because it can website shut The North Haverhill Fire Department will hold a benefit for Aaron Strobel later this month. COURTESY PHOTO Established Malcolm Ward, 1981 Owner Let Us Help You With All Your Storage Needs. Site & Land Development Land Clearing Equestrian Needs Pond Construction Road Construction Stonework _g)_ Tennis Court Construction Septic Systems (VT  NH Licensed) 9u I GOOD LOCAL RADIO! GOOD LOCAL NEWS! JOURNAL OPINIONI TUNE IN TO 101.3 TO GET THE JO HEADLINES! THEN PICK UP THE JO ON THE NEWSSTANDS! OURNAL PINION AN AWARD-WINNING INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER A weekly newspaper published in Bradford, Vermont. Subscription rates-- Vermont and New Hampshire--S28 per year, $18 for six months; out-of-state $35 per year, $22 for six months; senior citizen's discount $3. i i Second class postage paid at Bradford, Vermont. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Journal Opinion, PO Box 378, Bradford, Vermont 05033 e i e Editor/Publisher  Connie Sanville Managing Editor  Alex Nuti-de Biasi Web Site www.jonews.com BRADFORD FAX WOODSVILLE 802-222-5281 802-222-5438 603-747-2907 down by Cicely Richardson FAIRLEE--Fairlee Town Clerk Georgette Wolf-Ludwig explained to the selectboard on June 30 why she had shut down the Fairlee website. On July 1, she said, a new open meeting law would go into effect with provisions that the town was not prepared to meet ...... The new law has various provi- sions defining meetings, clarifying the rules for electronic meetings and executive sessions. Wolf- Ludwig was primarily concerned about new notice and posting requirements that apply to all public hoards, committees and commis- sions, and carry fines and penalties for failure to comply. Under the new law, if the town has an official website, meeting agendas of all public bodies must be posted on that website, in addition to the town office and two other designated public places, 48 or more hours before the meeting or 24 hours before a special meeting. Furthermore, minutes must be posted on the official website no later than five days after the meeting, meaning that draft minutes must be posted before approval. The requirement to post minutes applies only if such a website exists. Wolf-Ludwig said she had previ- ously given the board copies of the new law, but that nothing had happened. "We don't have anything in place or anyone to do this," she told the board, adding that she was not interested in incurring any fines. Therefore, she had arranged to have the website shut down temporarily and asked the selectboard to put this on the July 7 agenda to decide how to handle it. "If we have an official town website, we have to have agendas and minutes on it," she reiterated, and that applies to all board and committees, from the selectboard to the fire department, library board, cemetery commission and so on. Other business The board also met with the Friends of the Fairlee Town Hall to discuss the future of that building. The Friends were seeking assurance of the selectboard' s commitment to the project to restore access to the second floor theater. "We have private resources out there," said Don Weaver, but people are wondering whether the town's leaders support the project. Everyone agreed that they need a complete picture of the full project and a professional estimate of costs, to include upgrading of the septic system and more parking. "We have a resource upstairs that needs developing," selectboard member David Colby said. The board voted to approve moving forward to develop a full icture, then figure out how it will e paid for and when it can be done. Cicely Richardson can be reached at crichardson@l'onews.com. Your Yard, Garden and Pet Place 3147 Dartmouth College Highway North Haverhill, NH Ig  603-787-6981 | i r R |