June 1, 2004
The following text was sent via email by Manolis Christodulou to a list of addresses found within Artemis' contact list. Many of her friends and colleagues may have not received this information yet.
I'm writing to inform all of you of the details of a severe car accident that Artemis Christodulou was in recently.
Artemis was in Sierra Leone working on the "National Vision for Sierra Leone," a project spun off from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose aim was to foster hope, unity and a positive direction for the country's future. The National Vision sent out a call for contributions, in any form, such as paintings, installations, essays, poems, or sculpture, from Sierra Leoneans, that symbolized each individual's vision for the future of their country. Although in an intermediate stage, this project achieved a major impact on the lives of Sierra Leoneans, and earned an endorsement from South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
On May 23rd, Artemis was traveling in an SUV in upcountry Sierra Leone while scouting for a new location in which to display the collected contributions. Early that evening, while driving on rough terrain, the vehicle lost traction and collided with a mud wall. There were five passengers in the vehicle; Artemis was in the rear seat in the middle position. The force of the impact caused severe brain injuries, which the doctors at this moment in time state have caused devastating and irreparable damage. She lapsed into a coma soon after the accident, and currently remains comatose.
After one month at the American Hospital of Paris (where Artemis was airlifted following the accident), she was airlifted to Mass General Hospital in Boston, MA. Today, Artemis was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where she will undergo a 30 day coma stimulation program. We also must note that the doctors have given us next to no hope. From the data collected, the doctors are confident in stating that they feel that a recovery out of a comatose state is highly unlikely. Due to her age of 26 years, they have admitted her into this program, which is experimental. The program will analyze at which hours of the day she is most aware, and will attempt to stimulate her into a conscious state.
My family and I would like to state that we feel her friends have a right to visit Artemis. Also, it gives us comfort to see and meet the people who are important in Artemis' life. Our house is open to anyone of her friends who would like to stay with us while visiting Artemis in Boston. We would also like to extend from the bottom of our hearts a huge thank-you to those of you who have shown an unbelievable amount of support, and to those who traveled to Paris both to visit Artemis and to comfort us during the most difficult time of our lives. We also sincerely thank Yale University for reinstating her medical insurance, an act of goodwill and incredible generosity for a woman who was a product of Yale.
I can be reached on my mobile phone at 617-620-3349. Please don't hesitate to call me with anything at all, since I realize that for some of you this has a huge impact on your lives as well. For more general questions, feel free to email me at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I have made my best effort in contacting as many signficant people in Artemis' life as possible; however, I would like to give you permission to forward this email to others who you feel should know. God bless you all.